Skip to main content

Full text of "Life of James, cardinal Gibbons"

See other formats








James Cardinal Gibbons 

By ALLEN S. WILL, A. M., Litt D. 

"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to 
God the things that are Got/'s."— Matthew, xxii, 21. 



baltimore new york 

R. <& T. TV ASHBOURNE, Ltd., 
1. 2 and 4 Paternoster Row, London. 248 Buchanan Street, Glasg;o^v. 

Copyright, 1911 by 


All rights reserved 

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England. 

Press of JOHN MURPHY COMPANY, Baltimore 






Few men who exert great influence are able to see in their 
own times the fruition of their most cherished undertakings; 
but such has been the privilege bestowed by a benign Providence 
on Cardinal Gibbons. It seems not inappropriate, therefore, 
to pause on the occasion of his fiftieth anniversary as priest 
and his twenty-fifth anniversary as Cardinal and survey, when 
he is "jy years old, the broad outlines of his career. Not only 
is it true that the principal labors to which he has hitherto 
devoted himself have been concluded, but some of them, indeed, 
were finished so long ago that their details have been almost 
forgotten by a generation intent chiefly on the things of the 

No comprehensive attempt has been made up to this time to 
tell the story of the Cardinal's life, crowded, as it has been, 
with events not only of deep significance to the world, but of 
absorbing interest. True, there is much in print, but it is frag- 
mentary, tinged with the impressions of a moment, contro- 
versial or wholly lacking in the perspective with which his 
career may now be fairly viewed. These considerations, and 
the peculiar appropriateness of the double jubilee, have em- 
boldened me to embark on the rather hazardous task of trying 
to write a biography while the subject of it is yet living. At 
the beginning I resolved that if any compromise with the 
standards which should govern an impartial biography were 
encountered, I would not proceed with the work; and I have 
fully satisfied myself, at least, that this obstacle did not arise. 

In the preparation of this book, I have been especially 
solicitous to obtain accuracy. Unverified statements have been 
rejected, and I have wholly discarded unconfirmed tradition 
and reminiscence. The opinions expressed, except where they 
are attributed to others, are mine. 

Allen S. Will. 

Baltimore, July 30, 1911. 




Baltimore at the time of Cardinal Gibbons' birth — His parents re- 
turn to their former home in Ireland — Studies and Sports in Irish 
schools — Death of his father — His mother takes the family to New 
Orleans — Clerk in a grocery store — His mind turns to the priest- 
hood — Classical and theological studies — Ordination 1- 12 



Six weeks as assistant pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Baltimore — 
Pastor of St. Bridget's during tbe Civil War — Dangers and difficul- 
ties — Ministrations at Fort McHenry — Temporary decline of his 
health — Prophetic sermon on the night of Lincoln's assassination. .13- 21 



Critical period for the Church at the time of his transfer to the 
Archbishop's household — Assistant Chancellor of the Second Plenary 
Council of Baltimore — Nominated for Vicar Apostolic at the age of 
32 years — Sunday-school work — Gifts as a preacher beginning to 
develop 22- 28 


Consecrated Vicar Apostolic and Titular Bishop of Adramyttum — 
Reception in North Carolina — Experiences in the "reconstruction" 
era — Missionary journeys in the face of physical obstacles — Popular 
with Protestants as well as Catholics — Rapid growth of the Church 
in the vicariate 29- 45 


Sudden change of field from pioneer work in North Carolina to the 
atmosphere of the Vatican Council — Reasons for the convocation of 
the Council — Question of infallible teaching office of Roman Pontiff — 
Attitude of the American bishops — Bishop Gibbons votes for the 
declaration of infallibility, thought doubting its opportuneness — 
Impressions of famous churchmen 46- 61 




Bishop Gibbons succeeds Bishop McGill in Richmond, continuing 
his worlc in North Carolina at the same time — Friendship with Arch- 
bishop Bayley — Energetic and faithful labors in Virginia — His first 
book, "The Faith of Our Fathers" 02- 77 



Recommended by Archbishop Bayley for succession to the prima- 
tial American See — Death of Bayley — Receives the pallium in the 
Baltimore Cathedral — A man of the people — Identification with 
varied interests of the community — Patriotism in word and deed — 
Visit to Rome in 1880 — Letter on the assassination of President 
Garfield — Death of the Archbishop's mother — His life in the archi- 
episcopal residence 78- 97 



Causes for decision to summon another Plenary Council — ^Arch- 
bishop Gibbons presides as Apostolic Delegate — Lasting constructive 
worli for the Church In America — Decrees of the Council — A model 
for others — Origin of the Catholic University 98-124 



Work of Archbishop Gibbons in presiding over the Third Plenary 
Council leads to his elevation to the Cardinalate by Leo XIII — Re- 
ceives the red zuchetta— Red biretta conferred June 30, 1886, the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination as priest — Great jubilee 
demonstration in Baltimore 125-139 



Departure for Rome to receive the red hat— Installed in his titular 
church of Santa Maria in Trastevere — He contrasts the growth of 
the Catholic faith in America with its decline in monarchical coun- 
tries of Europe— Attributes this to civil liberty— "Our country has 
liberty without license and authority without despotism"— Causes 
European nations to understand America 140-145 




Rise of the Knights of Labor in America — Forbidden by the Church 
in Canada — Cardinal Gibbons confers with Powderly — His "Knights 
of Labor letter'' to the Prefect of the Propaganda and his vigorous 
attitude in Rome cause the Congregation of the Holy Office to with- 
hold an interdict from the Knights in the United States and to reverse 
the action regarding Canada — His views of the labor question sus- 
tained by Leo XIII 146-165 . 



Homeward journey from Rome — Guest of Cardinal Manning in 
London — Friendship and sympathy of Cardinals Gibbons and Man- 
ning — Feted on his return to Baltimore — Prayer at the Constitu- 
tional Centennial Celebratioa — Western trip — Transmits President 
Cleveland's gift to Leo XIII in honor of the Pontiff's golden jubilee 
in the priesthood — His second book, "Our Christian Heritage".. .166-189 



Cardinal Gibbons organizes an imposing celebration in Baltimore 
in honor of the centennial of the Hierarchy — Letter of Leo XIII on 
the growth of the Church in America — The "Catholic Congress" 
of 1889 — Dedication of the School of Sacred Sciences of the Catholic 
University — Great interest of the Cardinal in the University — Hig 
views on the temperance question 190-210 



Decline of religious Intolerance in American public sentiment — 
Cardinal Gibbons advises against direct relations between the Vat- 
ican and the government at Washington — Transmission of Vatican 
relics to the World's Fair at Chicago in Archbishop Satolli's custody 
leads to his temporary appointment as Apostolic Delegate, later made 
permanent — Archbishops consider the school question — Attitude of 
Cardinal Gibbons regarding education — Leo XIII sustains the "Fari- 
bault plan" — Appeal of the Cardinal to Congress for a continuance of 
government appropriations to Catholic Indian Schools 211-233 




Origin of the controversy concerning "Americanism" — The Ca- 
hensly program — Cardinal Gibbons throws his whole weight against 
foreign nationalism in the American Church — President Harrison 
thanks him for his attitude — Sustained by the Pope — The "American 
Protective Association" — Bishop Keane resigns as rector of the Uni- 
versity — Misunderstanding abroad of "The Life of Father Hecker" 
— Letter of Leo XIII on "Americanism" — Reply of Cardinal Gib- 
bons 234-263 



Catholic Interest in the four hundredth anniversary of the dis- 
covery of America — The Cardinal inspires a celebration in Baltimore 
— His prayer at the dedication of the great fair in Chicago — Address 
before the Parliament of Religions — Attitude on the reunion of 
Christendom — Visit to Rome in 1894 — Public welcome on his return 
to Baltimore 264-277 



Cardinal Gibbons an advocate of international arbitration — His 
appeal for a permanent tribunal of arbitration — Sermon at requiem 
mass for the "Maine" dead — Efforts to prevent war between the 
United States and Spain — After the outbreak of war he advocates 
love of country next to love of God and readiness to die for country 
If necessary — Directs thanksgiving in churches for American victor- 
ies — Meetings with Cervera — Doubts wisdom of annexing Spanish 
islands — Efforts to Americanize the church organization in the 
Islands — Visit to Rome in 1901 — Another popular welcome in Balti- 
more 278-292 



Influence in bringing about the suppression of the Louisiana lot- 
tery — Articles in reviews and magazines advocating political and 
social reforms — Silver .iubilee of his episcopate — Gift from the 
Pope — Archbishop Ireland's eloquent sermon on "The Church and 
the Age" — Elevation of Satolli to the cardinalate in the Ratimore 
Cathedral — Cardinal Gibbons' third book, "The Ambassador of 
Christ" — Opposition to woman suffrage — Views on other questions 293-811 



Last illness of Leo XIII — Cardinal Gibbons the first American to 
take part in the election of a Pontiff — Personal experiences during 
the Conclave — His influence in bringing about the election of Pius X 
— Murks of friendship from the new Pontiff — Another Baltimore 
welcome — Trip to Rome in 1908 — Preaches at Eucharistic Congress 
in London 312-327 


Remarkable growth of the Catholic Church in the United States 
coincident with the history of the Cathedral — The Cardinal organizes 
a celebration — Declarations of himself and other American prelates 
against socialism — Letter from Pius X — Archbishop Ryan on evils 
of the times 328-334 


Influence of France in the early development of the Church in 
America — The "Law of Associations" and subsequent agitation — 
Cardinal Gibbons addresses a letter of sympathy to the Cardinal 
Archbishop of Paris in behalf of the American Archbishops — Personal 
utterances on the same subject — Gratitude of the Pope 335-338 


Experiences in the great Baltimore fire of 1904 — His life endan- 
gered in a driving accident — Extensive travels — Methods of recrea- 
tion — Embarrassments of his high ofiBce — Held in affection by non- 
Catholics — Opposition to divorce, "race suicide" and other evils — 
His New Year receptions — Health and habits — Misfortunes — His 
fourth book, "Discourses and Sermons" 339-381 


Civic celebration in Baltimore, June 6, 1911, in honor of the Car- 
dinal's golden jubilee as priest and silver jubilee as a member of the 
Sacred College — Addresses by President Taft, Vice-President Sher- 
man, ex-President Roosevelt, Governor Crothers, Mayor Preston and 
others 382-393 


Conspicuous accomplishments in the service ot Church and State 
— Great progress in the development of good feeling between Cath- 
olics and non-Catholics 394-398 




ST. CHARLES COLLEGE, EUicott City, Md 10 

(Where Cardinal Gibbons began his classical studies for the 

ST. BRIDGET'S CHURCH, Baltimore, in 1S65 .... 14 

CARDINAL GIBBONS, as priest, in 1866 .... 26 

ST. THOMAS' CHURCH, Wilmington, N. C 34 

CARDINAL GIBBONS as Bishop of Riclimond ... 64 


Richmond, Va., in 1876 76 


CARDINAL GIBBONS in his robes 130 

(As a member of the Sacred College) 


TEVERE, Rome 142 

(Extract from ''Our Christian Heritage") 




DEWEY at the presentation of a sword to the Admiral . 308 





(At the Oolden Jubilee of St. Aloysius' Church, Washington, 
November 13, 1909) 

more, June 6, 1911 384 


Early Life and Studies. 

Although the active life of Cardinal Gibbons has stretched 
well into the twentieth century, the twilight of the eighteenth 
still seemed to linger around his early home when he was born 
in Baltimore, July 23, 1834. The city of which he was to be- 
come the foremost citizen, identified with it throughout a long 
career, was then overgrown from the straggling outlines of a 
colonial town. On the east the peaked roofs and tall, thin chim- 
neys of its residential streets extended barely to Fell's Point, a 
full mile inside of where the Lazaretto Light, now half hidden 
by the smoke of clamorous factories, blinked at the smart clip- 
per ships which raced up the Patapsco with the trade of the 
world. To the westward the swinging sign of the General 
Wayne Inn, on Paca street, bearing a portrait of "Mad An- 
thony" in brilliant blue and buff, marked the dividing line be- 
tween urban life and a peaceful vista of rural estates, soon to 
be devoured by the hungry giant whose spreading bulk was 
already beginning to crowd them. 

Uptown one might see, in the stately parade of late Georgian 
fashion which passed on bright afternoons, the women who 
were giving the city a repute as the home of the loveliest of 
their sex in America ; and here and there might be observed the 
raven hair and olive cheeks of the daughters of rich Santo 
Domingan planters, driven in a swarm by the revolution of 
L'Ouverture to find in Baltimore the home of exiles. Down- 
town, around the waterfront, the heart of the city throbbed. 
Grave merchants in sober dress, their throats wrapped in stiff 


black stocks, sat in counting-rooms fronting on narrow streets 
and traded ambitiously with Europe, South America and the 
Indies. Privateers, which twenty years before had scattered 
British commerce in a hundred ports, now anchored around the 
wharves to load the products of the West and South in peace- 
ful commerce. Swift schooners, manned not infrequently by 
sailors who had proved that they could use a cutlass as well as 
trim a sail, were freighting the rich crops of the Chesapeake 
region to the metropolis of Maryland. Planters and merchants 
from half a dozen States drank the old wines of the Fountain 
Inn, or Barnum's, crowding to the gay and busy city to buy 
their supplies a year ahead.* 

The name of Johns Hopkins might be seen on the sign of a 
wholesale grocery store on Lombard street, near Light street.f 
A few hundred yards distant, on German street, near Charles, 
was the dry-goods establishment of George Peabody. The 
alert young man who opened Mr. Peabody's store in the morn- 
ing and wrote his laconic business letters was William Pinkney 
Whyte. On Charles street, near German, was the modest office 
of Enoch Pratt, iron merchant. Chief Justice Taney's hand- 
some residence was on Lexington street, the second house from 
St. Paul street. The courts of law felt the inspiration of Wil- 
liam Pinkney, Luther Martin, William Wirt and Reverdy 
Johnson. Edgar Allan Poe, recently dismissed from West 
Point, was walking the streets seeking employment as a writer 
or teacher. At the Adelphi Theatre Junius Brutus Booth, then 
in the noonday of his genius, was playing nightly. Two years 
before, a tottering old man had been an object of respectful 
interest as he used to enter his residence at Front and Lom- 
bard streets after attending mass. He was Charles Carroll, 
and the hand that turned the heavy brass door knob had signed 
the immortal Declaration. 

• Scharf, Chronirlps of Baltimore, pp. 405-408. 

t Mr. Henry C. Wapxier, antiquarian, of Baltimore, I5 authority for the locations 
of old buildings as given here. 


The stately Cathedral, then lately erected on a bold hill in 
the newer part of the city, was the seat of Catholic influence in 
America. It had been the pride of John Carroll, first Ameri- 
can archbishop, who had died before it was opened for wor- 
ship; but he had lived to see the organization of the Church 
planted on a foundation that would stand the shock of the 
"Knownothing"' times, soon to come, and prove firm and last- 
ing in the marvelous career of development that was opening 
before the new republic. Carroll had been succeeded by Neale, 
and then Marechal and Whitfield; and in the year of the future 
Cardinal's birth, Eccleston was elevated to the episcopal chair, 
and sat beneath the canopy at mass. Besides the Cathedral, 
the churches of St. Peter, St. John, St. Patrick, St. Mary and 
St. James had been erected; and the aggressive spirit of the 
clergy was fast winning converts. The Catholic population of 
Maryland was estimated at 75,000 out of 500,000, a greater 
proportion than in any other American State.* 

The house in which the Cardinal was born survived the 
changes of time until 1892, when it was torn down to make 
way for the widening of Lexington street into a plaza for pub- 
lic parades and outdoor meetings. It stood on the west side 
of Gay street, a short distance north of Fayette street, and was 
a substantial home of two stories, capped by a high-pitched 
roof, the type of many others to be seen in Baltimore in the 
first half of the nineteenth century. That part of the city, 
since given over almost wholly to trade, was then near the 
core of the residential district. In front of the Gibbons home 
streamed a picturesque tide of life — fashionable idlers, who 
maintained many of the traditions of the English aristocracy; 
folk of many sorts coming in from the northeastern outskirts 
of the town to the maze of rope and mast that covered the 
inner harbor; coaches of the rich, with liveried servants on the 
boxes; white-arched Conestoga wagons, rumbling in from 

* Letter of Archbishop Eccleston to the Congregation of the Propaganda, 
quoted by Shea, History of the Catholic Churclj jn the United States, Vol. 3, 
p. 447. 


Pennsylvania with the crops of rich counties to barter for the 
city's wares. In later years, when the pallium and the red 
hat, and other honors had been heaped upon him, the primate 
of the American Church used sometimes to point out this quaint 
building to favored friends, who accompanied him in his long 
walks about the city. 

Here, in 1834, lived Thomas Gibbons, father of the Cardi- 
nal, who was employed by Howell & Sons, a firm which for 
many years carried on an importing business on Gay street. 
He was one of thousands of young Irish farmers who had 
lately been swarming to America to seek their fortunes. The 
bloody days of 1798 were not long gone by ; and Daniel O'Con- 
nell was even then spreading the propaganda which he hoped 
would free his prostrate country from her wretchedness, but 
which, like others, was to end in disaster. Thomas Gibbons 
was born in 1800, and grew up near Westport, County Mayo. 
There he married Bridget Walsh, a deeply religious young 
woman, of strong character, the daughter of a neighboring 
farmer. Shortly after their marriage the couple emigrated in 
a sailing vessel to Canada, and after a short stay there, settled 
in Baltimore, in search of a milder climate and fuller opportu- 
nities in life. Six children were born to them, the first three 
being daughters and the last three sons. 

James was the eldest son. He was baptized in the Cathe- 
dral by Rev. Dr. Charles I. White. When Father White, after 
a long life spent in works of piety, died pastor of St. Matthew's 
Church, Washington, in 1878, it was Archbishop Gibbons who 
preached the sermon at his funeral. 

Thomas Gibbons became a citizen of the United States, and, 
like many of his fellow-countrymen, was an intense admirer of 
Andrew Jackson, whose crushing defeat of the English at 
New Orleans had made him a hero in their eyes. His infant 
son, the Cardinal-to-be, was proudly held up in arms to see 
"Old Hickory" on one of the latter's triumphal visits to Balti- 
more. Though the young immigrant's affairs prospered fairly 


well in America, his health failed, and his physician advised a 
long trip. He took his family back to Ireland in 1837, when 
James was three years old, and there he decided to remain, 
buying land near Westport and settling down again to the life 
of a farmer. 

The future Cardinal's education was begun at the age of 
seven years, when he was sent to a private classical school at 
Ballinrobe, near Westport, taught at first by a Mr. Jennings, 
and later by John J. Rooney. He was a slender lad, with clear 
blue eyes and brown hair, and, though his health was not the 
strongest, his ardent love of outdoor life helped to develop a 
vitality which in future years enabled him to sustain the great- 
est fatigues of mind and body. An eager intellect and the 
power of intense application made him an apt pupil. When 
the elements had been mastered, he began with avidity the 
study of history, languages and mathematics, unraveling, by 
the laborious methods of Irish schools in those days, the pol- 
ished sentences of Virgil, Ovid, Cicero and Livy, and delving 
hard into Xenophon and Homer. The English classics par- 
ticularly fascinated him. Addison, Goldsmith, Johnson and 
Moore were his favorites, and to his pronounced fondness for 
the study of such models was due, in large measure, that limpid 
clearness of expression which became a striking characteristic 
of his literary style in later years. A remarkable memory en- 
abled him to quote off-hand many poems he had read. He 
received much help from his maternal grandfather, James 
Walsh, for whom he had been named — a scholarly man who 
taught him the principles of mathematics. 

Among those strenuous Irish lads, bubbling with vitality, 
sports were rough when the stern discipline of long school 
hours was lifted. They wrestled and boxed, ran and jumped, 
played cricket, football, handball and prisoner's base, which 
later developed into the American game of baseball. Young 
Gibbons, though not so sturdy of frame as some of his compan- 
ions, loved the rigor of their contests as much as any. He 


played as hard as he studied, and a mark which he carried on 
one of his fingers through Hfe was left by an injury received 
in a game of cricket. 

Among the fifty boys at the school were not a few w^ho rose 
to distinction. One of them, Thomas Tighe, became a mem- 
ber of Parliament, and held other important offices. His two 
brothers, Robert and James Tighe, adopted the career of offi- 
cers in the English army, as did another schoolmate of the 
Cardinal, General Sillery. The future Bishop MacCormack, 
of Galway, was also a pupil at Ballinrobe. Thomas Tighe lived 
to a ripe old age. He used to recall James as an amiable lad, 
very studious and talented, and a marked favorite in the 

James was confirmed by Archbishop McHale at such an 
early age that he was rejected on account of his youth when 
he sought the privilege in company with other children; but, 
mingling in the stream of the favored ones, he received the rite 
notwithstanding this obstacle, and was praised for his pre- 
cocity. The deep piety of his mother exerted a marked influ- 
ence on him in the impressionable period of his early Hfe. 

The Gibbons family might have remained in Ireland and the 
Cardinal's lot might not have been cast in his native country, 
had not the death of his father in 1847, "^^'hen the lad was 13 
years old, changed the whole outlook. The energetic mother, 
thus suddenly left with the responsibility of a young family, 
decided to return to America with her children, and they em- 
barked on a sailing ship at Liverpool for New Orleans. It 
was a long trip, .destined to be marked by shipwreck and a 
providential escape for all on board. They sailed from Liver- 
pool in January, 1853, and it was the middle of March before 
the islands skirting the American coast were sighted. Near 
midnight on March 17, in calm weather, the vessel went fast 
aground on a sand bar close to the Island of Great Bahama, 
and, had the wind proved treacherous, none might have escaped 

• Extract from a letter written by Thomae Tighe, May 27, 1909. 


the sea. But fate was favorable, and, after waiting in great 
anxiety for the dawn, they were transferred in small boats to 
the island, whence they were carried to Nassau and kindly 
treated until they could continue their journey. 

Arriving in New Orleans, James obtained employment as 
clerk in a grocery store on Camp street, kept by William C.Ray- 
mond. It was one of the business establishments characteristic 
of New Orleans in those days, supplying the needs of Missis- 
sippi river steamers and plantations, as well as families of the 
city. Little did the rough river men, or the elegant country 
gentlemen who came in from their broad acres of cotton or 
sugar to buy for themselves and their slaves, think that the 
obliging youth who waited on them would some day rise to 
eminence attained by few Americans. 

Young Gibbons' intelligence, industry and fidelity attracted 
the notice of Mr. Raymond, and he was soon offered promo- 
tion. He was seriously thinking at this time of the choice of a 
career; and a mission held at St. Joseph's Church in the spring 
of 1854 served to fix his aspirations in the channel from which 
they were never to swerve. This mission was conducted by 
three remarkable young Redemptorist priests from New York — 
Revs. Isaac Thomas Hecker, Clarence Walworth and Augus- 
tine Hewit. All were converts from Protestantism. Idealists 
by nature and gifted with brilliant talents, they had run the 
gamut of religious aspiration and had at last taken refuge 
within the fold of the Catholic Church as the haven where the 
eager inquiries of their restless natures might find satisfaction. 
Of the three, Hecker was easily the leader.* In earlier years 
he had been a member of the socialistic community at Brook 
Farm and a companion of Ralph Waldo Emerson and George 
William Curtis. A venture in business life had failed to satisfy 
him. Converted to the Catholic faith in 1844, he had been 
ordained a priest but five years before he began his mission in 
New Orleans. His magnetic preaching kindled a fire within 

• Elliott, Life of Father Hecker. 


the soul of young Gibbons, who joined in the devotions with a 
new fervor and spirit. The priesthood became his goal, in 
which determination he was also greatly influenced by his con- 
fessor. Father Dufoe, a Jesuit, and by Father Duffy, a Re- 

Four years after this mission closed, Hecker, Walworth and 
Hewit, with two companions, obtained the papal permission to 
found the Congregation of Missionary Priests of St. Paul, in 
which they realized their zealous hope of devoting their lives 
to preaching for the conversion of Protestants. The great 
work of the "Paulist Fathers" since that time has been their 
monument; but not the least of the fruits of Hecker's ardent 
labors for the development of the Church in America was the 
accession of the young New Orleans clerk to the roll of **Am- 
bassadors of Christ."* 

Mr. Raymond was loath to see his youthful friend forsake a 
business career, in which the prospects of success seemed so 
bright. A warm friendship had sprung up between these two 
which was to end only with the death of Raymond, many years 
afterward. Mrs. Gibbons, too, was reluctant to part from 
her eldest son, on whom she had grown to lean more as his 
talents and character ripened with years and in whom the 
widowed mother hoped to find the prop of her old age. James' 
decision remained fixed, and at last all acquiesced in the step 
he was resolved to take. 

In the summer of 1855, when he was 21 years old, he 
started for Baltimore, having decided to make his native city 
and state the scene of the labors upon which he was about to 
enter. His mother, his eldest sister, Mary, and his younger 
brother, John, who had already begun to climb the ladder of 
riches in the grain trade, remained in New Orleans, his sister 
Catherine having died in Ireland at the age of 17. His jour- 
ney was beset with delays and difficulties in those days, before 

• Hewit had been a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Walworth 
was a son of Reuben H. Walworth, a distinguished Chancellor of the State of New 


the conveniences of the railroad had been generally extended. 
He went by steamer up the Mississippi and the Ohio to Cincin- 
nati, and thence by rail most of the way to Baltimore, though 
it was necessary to cross part of the Alleghenies by stage. Six- 
teen days after he left New Orleans he arrived in Baltimore, 
and soon entered St. Charles College, Ellicott City, Md., then 
recently erected on land given by Charles Carroll, where he 
began his classical studies in preparation for the priesthood. 

The next two years were spent at St. Charles, where the 
keenness of his mind and the thoroughness of his earlier educa- 
tion at once made him a pupil of note. He took up again the 
study of the ancient and modern classics, and so zealous was 
he to pursue these, that he wanted to remain another year, but 
Rev. Oliver L. Jenkins, president of the college, refused per- 
mission on the ground that he was already thoroughly equipped 
to enter St. Mary's Seminary, in Baltimore, and begin the sec- 
ond stage of his course. His character in those early days of 
his manhood seems to have made an impression on his fellow- 
students at St. Charles ; but it was too early to predict for him, 
among so many other bright young men, that he would rise to 
any extraordinary height. His modesty and amiability tended 
to keep him in the background. One of his comrades was 
John S. Foley, later Bishop of Detroit, a member of a noted 
Catholic family of Baltimore, who, after the lapse of many 
years, wrote thus of his recollections of the future Cardinal : 

"The burdens of his high office have told upon his slender 
frame with advancing years, and yet as he rises before my 
mental retrospect I cannot see much change in the supple, 
trim figure that entered so ardently into our youthful sports. 
He still preserves the grace of movement of his early days, 
when with all his apparent delicacy he proved himself to be as 
elastic as tempered steel. Those were the days when the fixed 
rules of football a la Rugby were unknown or ignored, and I 
recall with an accelerated pulse the dash wiih which the Car- 
dinal in petto broke into the melee around the elusive sphere 


and ruthlessly beat down all opponents. Whatever he did was 
done with all his might, and that is the philosophy of his story. 
He engaged in his studies in the same earnest, indefatigable 
fashion that he exhibited at football or in the racquet court, 
and his mind was as active as his body, full of spring and resil- 
iency. He was a youth, too, of noble and generous impulses, 
and his unaffected modesty was a most charming trait of his" 
character. All these splendid attributes he has carried with 
him into the turbulent arena of life. * * * With him, 
life is real, life is earnest." 

In September, 1857, he began his training at St. Mary's, 
under the presidency of Rev. Francois L'Homme, a French 
Sulpician. Owing to the inadequate facilities in those days, 
many American priests were still educated abroad, and a large 
number of others who labored among the American people 
were of foreign birth. The devoted fathers of St. Mary's had 
come to Baltimore in Bishop Carroll's time to begin the work 
of training a native priesthood, and French influence was still 
strong in the institution, whose mother house remained in 
Paris. Since the Council of Trent, the Church had insisted on 
rigorously thorough preparation for the duties of the ministry, 
and young men who aspired to that calling were forced to go 
where they could obtain the training. Protestant churches, 
which did not exact these requirements, early recruited their 
ministers from native soil, and accepted them with such educa- 
tion as they could obtain at home. The Lutheran clergy, most 
of whom still spoke German in the pulpit, continued to be 
predominantly Teutonic ; and not a few of the Protestant Epis- 
copal priesthood were Englishmen, or graduates of English 
colleges. A largely increasing number of Americans were 
seeking holy orders in the Catholic Church, and the tide was 
fast turning from Paris and Louvain. 

The training of the future Cardinal at St. Mary's was as 
strict as at European seminaries — the stern course in phi- 

• Relly, Collections In the Life and Times of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. 3, pp. 82, 83. 


losophy, theology, scripture, church history and canon law; 
the prolonged meditations and devotions; the searching scru- 
tiny of character, and the Spartan rigor of labors that might 
not stop for fatigue. Young Gibbons met every test, being 
described by his teachers as "having exceptional facility in 
his studies and as applying himself with great eagerness.*" 
He ''possessed a cheerful and even temper, and gained the 
esteem and affection of all." Despite the severity of the 
course, he customarily spent an hour each day in devotional 
reading of scripture, instead of twenty minutes, which were 
obligatory. His success in philosophy was so marked that he 
was appointed master of the conferences held three times a 
week by the students to discuss the points covered by the lec- 
tures of the professor and to arrive at a fuller understanding 
of them. The professor of philosophy at that time. Rev. 
Francois P. Dissez, survived to celebrate the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of his entrance into the seminary, and he recalled through- 
out his long life the zeal and industry of his distinguished 

Young Gibbons received the tonsure September 15, 1858, at 
the hands of Archbishop Kenrick, who conferred upon him the 
four minor orders June 16 of the following year. The same 
prelate promoted him to the subdiaconate June 28, 1861, to 
the diaconate June 29, and to the priesthood June 30. 

Deep shadows w^ere drawing over the country in those clos- 
ing years at the seminary. In their brief periods devoted to 
general conversation the students had anxiously discussed the 
exciting events of the time — the John Brown raid, the fugitive 
slave riots, and the formation of the Southern Confederacy. 
Blood was already being shed in civil war when the young 
priest was ordained. His associations and sympathies were 
with the Southern people, among whom he had lived, but his 
Judgment opposed secession as a political step. He remained 
a Union man to the end, though taking no part by word or 

* Records of St. Mary's Seminary. 


deed in the struggle that was rending his unhappy country. 
His not to draw the sword, but to preach peace and mercy; 
not to stir the passions of men, but to point them to the exam- 
ple of their Divine Master. He had chosen his path; where 
the cross led, he would follow. 


At St. Patrick's and St. Bridget^s. 

One Sunday morning in July, 1861, the congregation of St. 
Patrick's Church, Baltimore, saw within the sanctuary a young 
priest, lightly built, yet graceful and well-proportioned, of 
medium height, with a strong face and a large, firm mouth, 
softened by a singularly sweet and winning expression. When 
he spoke, his voice was clear, almost perfectly toned and musi- 
cal, like the notes of a silver bell. The fascination of his man- 
ner won the hearts of all. That day he was introduced to 
members of the congregation as Father Gibbons, newly ap- 
pointed as assistant to Rev. James Dolan, the veteran pastor 
of St. Patrick's. Not a few of them lived to see him, so rapid 
was his advancement, a member of the Sacred College, famed 
in America and Europe both as a shepherd of souls and a leader 
of men.* 

Father Dolan, known as "The Apostle of the Point" — St. 
Patrick's is situated on Fell's Point — was a priest of vigorous 
and aggressive activity, who had long carried on a notably suc- 
cessful work in East Baltimore, unaided, and did not want an 
assistant. He had managed to find a separate field of labor 
for every one who had been sent to him, and Father Gibbons 
was no exception. Seven years before, Father Dolan, in his 
missionary zeal, had built a little church on the edge of the 
city's eastern boundary, in a district called Canton, and named 
it St. Bridget's, after the patron saint of his mother. It was 
then temporarily under the jurisdiction of St. Patrick's Parish, 
and Father Gibbons had not been ordained more than six 

• Mr. John Malloy, of Baltimore, who survives at a venerable age (1911), recalls 
distinctly the brief period of Father Gibbons' life when he was stationed at St. 
Patrick's and the impression he produced on the congregation, of which Mr. 
Malloy was a member at the time. 



weeks when Father Dolan sent him there, saying, "Canton is a 
good school for a young priest." Toward the end of 1861 he 
was made full pastor of St. Bridget's by Archbishop Kenrick, 
and began in an independent field the only work as a parish 
priest he was destined to do. 

The neighborhood was semi-rural, and, in the temper of the 
times, turbulent and dangerous. Maryland alone, of all the 
American States, had lately been carried by the Knownothing 
party, and Canton had been a favorite scene for the operations 
of the "Blood Tubs," a band composed of butchers and their 
lawless associates, who used to carry half-hogsheads of beef 
blood to the polling places and bespatter with the gory contents 
citizens who would not vote the anti-foreign ticket. The fury 
of this movement had not fully subsided when the Civil War, 
with its violent clashes of opinion in a border State, rent the 
city asunder with excitement. Federal troops had taken pos- 
session of Baltimore and erected a chain of fortifications, one 
of which. Fort Marshall, was thrown up in what is now High- 
landtown, within the boundaries of St. Bridget's parish. 
Armed force took the place of law, and the volunteer soldiers, 
not yet trained to the restrictions of discipline, terrorized the 

It was under these trying circumstances that Father Gibbons 
began his pastorate. The Church was in a lonely place, sur- 
rounded by farms and market gardens. Only one dwelling — 
that of Mrs. Bridget Smyth, a devoted member of the congre- 
gation, four of whose grandsons became priests — was near. 
The rectory consisted of a few small rooms built against one 
end of the church, lacking in light and ventilation, the boards 
of the floor touching the ground. The good Mrs. Smyth pitied 
the hardships of the young pastor and sent him his first meal 
on the Saturday evening when he went to Canton to begin his 
labors. t 

♦ Scharf. History of Baltimore City and County, p. 132. 

t Surviving members of the Smyth family are authority for these statements. 


The congregation included some of the neighboring rural 
population, but was chiefly composed of laboring men from the 
copper works and rolling mills scattered along the Canton 
waterfront. With his tireless activity and remarkable faculty 
of making friends, Father Gibbons soon knew them all by 
name. So vivid was his memory for names and faces that the 
absorbing mental impressions of later years were never able to 
blot out his recollection of the devout flock of St. Bridget's, 
and his smile and instant recognition were theirs whenever 
he met them. 

Soon after going to Canton, Archbishop Kenrick directed 
him to take charge of St. Lawrence's Church, since renamed 
for Our Lady of Good Counsel, on Locust Point, a mile across 
the Patapsco. In this capacity he served as volunteer chap- 
lain at Fort McHenry, as well as at Fort Marshall. Every 
Sunday morning, in winter storms as well as summer calms, he 
left Canton about 6 o'clock, was rowed in a skiff across to 
Locust Point, heard confessions at St. Lawrence's, said mass, 
preached, baptized, attended sick calls ; then recrossed the river 
to Canton, where he celebrated high mass at half -past lo 
o'clock and preached again. No obstacle deterred him. His 
kindhearted housekeeper used to bundle him up in stormy 
weather and tie her shawl over his head, but many of his trips 
meant keen suffering. When the river was impassable, he 
would travel to St. Lawrence's in a sleigh or carriage, crossing 
at the head of the harbor by way of Light street, several miles 
up. As no Catholic clergyman may celebrate mass except 
while fasting, it was usually about i o'clock in the afternoon 
when, after a morning's arduous labor, he could eat. This 
ordeal seriously impaired his digestion and compelled him to 
observe great care in diet throughout his life. "It killed my 
stomach," he used to say. 

The decline of his health caused some of his parishioners to 
express the opinion at one time that he "could not live two 
months." Tuberculosis was suspected; but one day he re- 


turned from an examination by his doctor and joyfully an- 
nounced that his lungs were sound.* The living condi- 
tions of the rectory were bad enough, but he made them worse 
by devoting a part of his limited quarters to the purposes of a 
hall for fairs and church meetings, leaving only a small sleep- 
ing-room which he called his own. When a fair was in 
progress at a late hour he would sometimes pass through the 
hall, returning from a pastoral call, and bid the merrymakers a 
smiling goodnight, saying, "I must go to bed now," as he dis- 
appeared in his little apartment. Directly above his living- 
room he established a parochial school, and the noise and 
trampling overhead did not seem to diminish his satisfaction 
that the children of his parish were thus provided for. 

When he was able to obtain sufficient means, he built a new 
and suitable rectory of brick, in conformity with the style of 
the church. In order to carry out this project, he had to raise 
a considerable sum of money. As a means to the end, he 
decided to secure a large building in the center of the city for 
a fair, and applied to the lessee of Carroll Hall, a noted place 
for public assemblies in those days. At first the lessee assumed 
an air of suspicious coldness and was far from inclined to grant 
the request. After Father Gibbons had explained the circum- 
stances to him more fully, his attitude changed and he readily 
yielded, besides making ample apologies for what had seemed 
discourtesy. A few words explained all. "I thought you 
were a Yankee," said this stout-hearted sympathizer with the 

The war feeling was so intense that part of the congregation 
of the Cathedral left on several occasions when the prayer for 
the authorities was said. This prayer had been framed by 
Archbishop Carroll, and, among other things, besought that 

* Mr. John J. Donnelly and Mrs. Peter Hagan, members of St. Bridget's Congre- 
gation, 1861-65, who lived to old age. recalled distinctly a number of incidents 
of that period, which have been incorporated in this worli. Many traditions 
linger from the same period, which have been rejected unless confirmed. 


the people might be "preserved in union," which by no means 
accorded with the views of the secessionists. 

Natural inclination developed in earlier years, and the large 
area of his parish, in which there were no street cars at the 
time, made Father Gibbons a pedestrian, and this tended to 
restore his health. His habit of taking long walks has con- 
tinued through life, and has been, perhaps, the most potent 
means of sustaining him in the manifold and prolonged activi- 
ties, the endurance of which so often created amazement in 
others. He seemed going all the time. No detail of the field 
was too small to receive his painstaking attention; no locality 
too dangerous to be penetrated by the devoted priest, bent on 
his mission of mercy and help. 

His duties at Fort McHenry required courage and circum- 
spection. This place, hallowed in American history, had been 
made a prison for Confederate soldiers and for civilians who 
fell under the ban. Members of the Maryland Legislature sus- 
pected of favoring secession were held there by the power of 
the bayonet. Among the noted prisoners were George Wil- 
liam Brown, Severn Teackle Wallis, Ross Winans and George 
P. Kane. Father Gibbons ministered to Federal and Confed- 
erate alike. At one time there were in the fort four Confed- 
erates who had been sentenced to be hanged. Three of them — 
John R. H. Embert, Samuel B. Hearn and Braxton Lyon — 
had been with the army in Virginia, and, in a lull of the cam- 
paign, had succeeded in crossing the Chesapeake to visit their 
families on the Eastern Shore. Though not spies, they were 
arrested as such, court-martialed, and received the death sen- 
tence with another Confederate, William H. Rodgers, said to 
have been a blockade-runner.* Father Gibbons was called to 
attend Embert. The sentence was to be executed immediately 
after 12 o'clock Sunday night, August 29, 1864; but when the 

• Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Soriea 2, Vol. 7, pp. 
792, 834, 1040, 1291 ; Vol. 8, pp. 87, 114, 115, 132, 395, 436, G50. 


young priest arrived at the gate of the fort to prepare the pris- 
oner for death, he was told that the penalty had been commuted 
by President Lincoln a few hours before to imprisonment 
during the war. John W. Garrett, president of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad, and other prominent men had interceded 
for the four Confederates and the merciful President had lent 
a ready ear. 

The men thus snatched from the verge of the grave by 
executive clemency were sent to Albany. After the close 
of the war, when Father Gibbons had been transferred to the 
Cathedral, he was surprised to receive a visit from Embert. 
Their greetings were warm, but were scarcely over before his 
caller said : 

"Father, I am delighted to see you under more favorable 
circumstances than confronted us at Fort McHenry; and, as 
you did not have the opportunity of tying the knot around my 
neck on that occasion, I ask you now to tie a more pleasing 

He had come to be married, and Father Gibbons performed 
the ceremony. 

The young clergyman's courage was repeatedly proved in 
those stirring times. Returning to St. Bridget's rectory one 
night, he found a soldier asleep in the yard, and started to 
arouse him with an admonition to leave the church property. 
The soldier leaped to his feet, seized a paling from a broken 
fence and rushed at him with the fury of a tiger. Father 
Gibbons turned and ran toward his door, but soon found him- 
self trapped in an angle formed by wall and fence from which 
there was no escape. The soldier had the paling raised to 
strike him a murderous blow, when, realizing that he must 
defend himself quickly, he summoned all his strength, knocked 
the man down and thoroughly subdued him. When the big 
soldier came to his senses he realized that the frail young man 
in priestly dress was more than his match, and beat a precipi- 
tate retreat. 


On another night, arriving at his rectory after collecting 
money for the church, he was met outside trie door by his 
housekeeper, in tears, who told him a crazy man was inside. 
It proved to be an intruder of herculean size, naked and raving, 
who had taken possession of the premises and was threaten- 
ing everybody. Father Gibbons found no weapon at hand but 
an umbrella, with which he belabored the man to such good 
effect that in a short time he forced him to dress and leave the 

He was often in danger from drunken soldiers, and always 
avoided a conflict when he could do so, but v;hen that was not 
possible, proved that he could defend himself against any. 

The entries of Father Gibbons in the parish record of St. 
Bridget's, written in a delicate and well-proportioned but firm 
hand, have been carefully preserved by the pastors who have 
succeeded him. They tell the ordinary story of a priest's 
life — ^baptisms, weddings, financial details. He neglected noth- 
ing, and became as familiar a figure to the people of Canton 
as the smokestacks of their mills. His own congregation was 
devoted to the young priest, and, as he was never heard to say 
anything distasteful to non-Catholics or to refuse his ministra- 
tions to any, he was almost as well liked by those of faiths 
different from his own. Traits that were to mark him in later 
life were developing strongly. He was an accurate judge of 
men and women, and had a remarkable faculty for organiza- 
tion, which he put to good use in stimulating the work of the 
church in every direction. The young folk would walk miles 
to help him, and the older parishioners were charmed by his 
respectful and sincere attentions. Not infrequently he was 
cdled to travel long distances out the suburban roads which led 
into Baltimore through the Canton district, for churches were 
few and priests fewer in those days, even in Maryland. Sparse 
outlying communities were in many cases too poor to support 
pastors, and the political and economic confusion of the times 
arrested the spread of the gospel. 


Baltimore was passing through a dreadful experience during 
the period of his pastorate at St. Bridget's. Known to be pre- 
dominantly in sympathy with the South, the city worked and 
slept at the mouths of cannon planted by General B. F. Butler 
on Federal Hill, a bold eminence in the southern part of 
the city. Thousands of young Baltimoreans had passed the 
gauntlet of the Union lines and gone south to fight for the 
Confederacy, leaving their families behind, racked by anxiety 
and scanning with sickened hearts the latest bulletins of bloody 
losses at the front. Other thousands had voluntarily entered 
or been drafted into the Federal army, and wife, son and 
daughter counted themselves fortunate if their loved ones came 
back wounded, but living. When the Southern tide rose with 
the genius of Lee, precautions at Washington were doubled to 
prevent Maryland from falling into the hands of the Confed- 
eracy; and in the agonized waiting at the end, while the 
requiem of the new republic was being sounded by the artil- 
lery around Petersburg, none in Baltimore krew who was 
friend or foe. 

On the night of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Father Gib- 
bons was preaching in St. Joseph's Church, Baltimore. His 
topic was the crucifixion. With one of those apt similes which 
were characteristic of his literary and oratorical style, he pic- 
tured a benevolent ruler, exercising his authority with clem- 
ency, suddenly stricken down by the hand of a subject. A 
short time after the congregation had been dismissed the 
streets filled with people, and from lip to lip passed the fateful 
bulletin, "Lincoln has been shot !" In the light of the tragedy 
which startled the world, the words of Father Gibbons took on 
a strange significance. That night there was a terrible com- 
motion in Baltimore. A week later the body of the murdered 
President was brought to the city, and Father Gibbons, with 
some of the other clergy, marched in the procession which es- 
corted it to the rotunda of the Exchange, where it lay in State.* 

• Scharf, Chronicles of Baltimore, p. 634. 


Among the congregations which he served there was deep 
sympathy with the South ; but he went about his work without 
minghng in the polemics of the time, though his heart bled for 
the agonies of the helpless which are always the fruit of war, 
no matter what the issue to be decided, nor under what flag the 
sword be unsheathed. 


Secretary to Archbishop Spalding. 

The talents of Father Gibbons, combined with his piety and 
indefatigable zeal, attracted the attention of Archbishop Spald- 
ing, who had been raised in 1864 from the Bishopric of Louis- 
ville to the See of Baltimore, after the death of Archbishop 
Kenrick. It had been remarked of the young priest, as his 
powers developed, that he seemed "destined for leadership," 
though he had scant opportunity to show his real mettle in the 
little field of St. Bridget's. The shock was great to the devoted 
congregation when it was announced in October, 1865, that he 
had been transferred to the Cathedral as the Archbishop's sec- 
retary, and the people of Canton could hardly realize that the 
smiling face and gentle ministrations which had become inter- 
woven as a part of their daily lives were to be missed from 
among them. A petition to have him retained was started, 
but it was soon seen that this would be futile 

It was a time when the Church had need of her strong men. 
The passions following the Civil War were at their worst, and 
grew daily in ferocity. The United States Government had 
used pressure at Rome against the appointment of Archbishop 
Spalding, because it was feared that he was not sufficiently in 
accord with the policy of repression toward the South.* This 
had failed, and the Church had been able to proceed serenely 
on her mission, unclouded by the storms of the political atmos- 
phere. Whole States were in ruin, and the ministrations of 
religion were more necessary, and at the same time much more 

* O'Gorman. HIstorv of the Roman Catholic Church In the United States, 
p 43.^ : Shea. History of the Catholic Church In the United States, Vol. 4, p. 493 ; 
Rlordan, Cathedral Records, Baltimore, p. 77. 



difficult to convey, than before the gigantic conflict. Hun- 
dreds of famihes in the Diocese of Baltimore, as elsewhere, 
were mourning the loss of father, brother, son. In the coun- 
ties of Southern Maryland, the soil in which the Catholic faith 
had first taken root among English-speaking people in the 
Western Hemisphere, the slaves had been freed, and poverty 
spread its shadow where the refinements of an affluent aristoc- 
racy had lately flourished. 

To meet the emergency by dealing comprehensively with all 
the pressing problems of the Church in America, the Second 
Plenary Council of Baltimore was convened in the Cathedral 
in October, 1866. Father Gibbons was made its assistant 
chancellor, and for the first time was thrown into an arena 
where the larger outlook of the Church immediately con- 
fronted him. He fitted into these surroundings as if they had 
always been a part of him. A natural statesman, who might 
have been a Richelieu in world politics had he been a typical 
Frenchman of the seventeenth century instead of a typical 
American of the nineteenth, men of lesser parts instinctively 
looked to him. Where others might be unprogressive, imprac- 
tical, out of touch with the times, too ardent or controversial, 
he was cool, judicial, far-seeing, enlightened, inspired by senti- 
ments of lofty patriotism, as well as by the brilliant fire of apos- 
tolic zeal. He was already formulating in his mind those 
grand ideas which he was one day to impress on the world; 
and his contact with th^e leading men of the American Church 
served to give him the bearings with which he might start on 
his real career. 

Archbishop Spalding presided over the council, and to Father 
Gibbons, as his secretary and the assistant chancellor, fell a 
large share of the work of the gathering Among its most 
important acts was the creation of a number of new dioceses, 
subject to confirmation by the Holy See, to stimulate the spread 
of the faith in the stricken South and the growing communi- 
ties o^ the North and West. One of these was the vicariate 


apostolic of North Carolina. So strong an impression had 
Father Gibbons made on the assembled bishops that, though 
but 32 years old and only five years removed from the semi- 
nary, he was unanimously nominated for this important post. 

The decrees of the council were signed by seven archbishops, 
thirty-nine bishops or their procurators, and two abbots. An 
important declaration, destined to be quoted as a precedent by 
the fathers of the Church in Rome itself in a few years, related 
to the office of the Supreme Pontiff. The council decreed that 
he spoke with "the living and infallible authority" of the whole 
Church, "which was built by Christ upon Peter, who is the 
head, body and pastor of the whole Church, whose faith Christ 
promised should never fail ; which ever had legitimate pontiffs, 
dating their origin in unbroken line from Peter himself, being 
seated in his chair and being the inheritors and defenders of 
the like doctrine, dignity, office and power." 

The other decrees of the council need not be cited at length 
here. Among the many subjects treated were the dissensions 
among Protestant sects, and zeal for their conversion. Uni- 
tarianism and Universalism were condemned, the one as deny- 
ing the divinity of Christ, and the other as rejecting the doc- 
trine of eternal punishment. Transcendentalism and Panthe- 
ism were defined as human systems, which, having dethroned 
God, would make a deity of man. Warnings were given 
against spiritism and magnetism. There was held to be little 
reason for doubt that some of the manifestations of spiritism 
were the works of Satan. It was pointed out that the leaders 
of the system deny the divinity of Christ and the supernatural 
in religion. 

Preachers, it was declared, were to employ an explanatory, 
rather than a controversial, style in their sermons, and to 
adapt themselves to the capacity of their auditors. In repre- 
hending vices, they were never to become personal. They 
should declare the truth fearlessly, without being influenced by 
human motives. Attacks were not to be made from the pul- 


pit on public magistrates, nor were priests to mingle political 
and civic topics with religious doctrines. Care must be taken 
not to bestow undue praise in funeral orations. Prolixity in 
sermons was to be avoided. Priests should avoid recourse to 
civil tribunals when possible. They should abstain from all 
improper spectacles and games. Regarding money matters, 
they were not to be importunate in addressing their congrega- 
tions. The practice of taking money on deposit, for which 
interest was to be paid, was condemned. The clergy should 
avoid idleness as a pest. Greater provision for the education 
of priests, and for the erection of preparatory schools as well 
as seminaries, was recommended. 

It was decreed that mixed marriages were to be discouraged. 
Bishops should seek to use a uniform method in granting mat- 
rimonial dispensations. Catholics might be buried with sacred 
rites in a non-Catholic cemetery if they possessed a lot in such 
a place, provided it was not obtained in contempt of Church 
law. Free burial must be given the poor. Entrance money 
was not to be collected at churches. 

Stress was laid on the proper education of youth. It was 
urged that parish schools should be erected by every congre- 
gation, and the instruction, when possible, should be by teach- 
ers belonging to religious congregations. Catechism classes 
were to be instituted in the churches for children who attended 
the public schools. A strong desire for the establishment of a 
Catholic University in the United States — a dream to be real- 
ized in the near future — was expressed. 

In addition to the Masonic order, long previously condemned 
by the Church, the Odd Fellows and the Sons of Temperance 
were forbidden. The faithful, it was decreed, should not enter 
any society which, having designs against church or state, 
bound its members with an oath of secrecy.* 

The council adjourned after a session of two weeks. Its 
closing ceremonies were attended by President Andrew John- 

• Acta et Decreta Cone. Plen. II. Baltimore. 1868. Sermons and Pastoral Let- 
ter, Second Plenary Council, published b; Kelly & Plet. Baltimore. 1866. 


son, whom Father Gibbons met on that occasion, the first of a 
long Hne of Presidents whom he was to know and with many 
of whom he was to have close and important relations.* 

The nominations of the new bishops were not confirmed 
until 1868, and in the meantime Father Gibbons continued his 
work at the Cathedral. In January, 1866, he had established 
the first Sunday-school there, and it became so popular that he 
was able to report, in a letter to the Secretary of the Maryland 
Senate calling attention to the work of the parochial schools, 
that its average attendance in 1867 was 500. He taught classes 
in catechism regularly at Calvert Hall School and St. Mary's 
Orphan Asylum. His sermons soon attracted attention, and 
he was in demand at churches throughout the city. At this 
I>eriod the rare gifts as an orator in the best sense, which were 
to make him one of the foremost preachers of his time, were 
being rapidly perfected by experience and matured thought. 
The classical simplicity and beauty of his English could not 
fail to charm ; his logic was sound, his learning solid ; and the 
clearness and sweetness of his voice, which could fill a large 
hall without effort, combined with magnetism of manner that 
gripped the attention instantly, formed a rare medium for the 
virile ideas with which his pulpit utterances teemed. 

In a remarkable degree he had the confidence of Archbishop 
Spalding, as he had later of Bayley, the successor of Spalding. 
The Baltimore Cathedral has long been a cradle of bishops, 
and the young secretary in 1865-68 proved to be the brightest 
ornament of them all. The surroundings are singularly well 
adapted to bring out of priests their capacity for the executive 
work of the Church. They live in the Archbishop's house and 
sit at his table. Here not only the affairs of the diocese, but, 
to a large extent, those of the American Church center. All 
avenues lead to the seat of the primatial see, and in this sense 
Baltimore is the Rome of America. The parish contains some 
of the most important Catholic families of the United States, 

• Shea, History of the Catholic Church In the United States, Vol. 4, p. 720. 

Cardinal Gibbons as Priest in 1866 
father gibbons standing. rev henry b coskery v g . is seated 


pillars of the Church since the days of Leonard Calvert. The 
clergy thus have under their spiritual care a highly cultivated 
element, in whose social life they mingle and from whose 
environment they draw a certain inspiration. 

The archiepiscopal residence stands in dignified semi-isola- 
tion on a large lot on Charles street, in surroundings which in 
1865-68 were almost Athenian in their refinement. It is of 
gray stone and brick, two stories high, with a large basement, 
and is constructed in the breadth of proportion characteristic 
of Baltimore homes of the better class in the early half of the 
nineteenth century, but without any trace of magnificence of 
architecture or ornament. At the rear a paved walk leads to 
the Cathedral, which stands, like the house, on a hill where the 
victorious troops of Rochambeau encamped on the return from 
Yorktown in 1 782. A tall flight of steps leads to the front door 
of the house, which sets back in a recess of the wall. Inside is 
an English hallway extending the full length of the building, 
flanked on each side by spacious rooms, furnished with marked 
simplicity — almost scantily. Not a trace of luxury can be 
seen. On the walls are religious paintings and portraits of 
prelates identified with the archdiocese, with a bust or two here 
and there. A bay window, standing out boldly, is a vantage 
point for reviewing parades. 

The residence was originally a small building, erected in the 
administration of Archbishop Whitfield and occupied by him 
for the first time in 1830. Captain William. Kennedy and his 
wife contributed a large sum in 1865, by means of which two 
wings were built and another story added. A conspicuous 
tablet in the library commemorates this gift. 

Here, when Father Gibbons was a member of Archbishop 
Spalding's household, was the heart of fashionable Baltimore. 
Across the street and up and down were tne houses of the 
rich and cultured, the historic families of Maryland, and on the 
sidewalks trooped the belles and beaux of the town. Charles 
street at that point does not twist sharply like its neighbor, 


St. Paul street, which is said to have followed the tracks of a 
cow-path originally ; but so numerous are the hills that scarcely 
a level spot is to be found. Inside and outside the archiepis- 
copal residence the atmosphere is one of loftv things, and every 
priest who has lived there has felt its stimulus. 

Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina, 

In the Baltimore Cathedral, where he had been baptized, 
ordained, and at whose altar he had served as priest. Father 
Gibbons was consecrated titular bishop of Adramyttum and 
vicar apostolic of North Carolina August i6, 1868. He stood 
among the venerable men there assembled the youngest mem- 
ber of the American hierarchy. Rev, Thomas A. Becker, who 
had also been a member of the "school of bishops" — the Cathe- 
dral household — was raised to the See of Wilmington, Del., at 
the same time. The two new prelates received the crozier, 
ring and miter at the hands of their friend and patron. Arch- 
bishop Spalding. Another Cathedral priest, Rev. Thomas 
Foley, chancellor of the diocese, and afterward Bishop of 
Chicago, delivered the sermon.* 

It was a beautiful day, and a great crowd assembled to wit- 
ness the imposing ecclesiastical ceremony. As always on im- 
portant occasions at the Cathedral, the procession was long, in- 
cluding the students from St. Charles College and St. Mary's 
Seminary, immediately in the rear of the cross-bearer, acolytes 
and sanctuary boys. Then came the clergy of the diocese, the 
superiors of religious orders, the bishops and archbishops. The 
hierarchy of the day was well represented by Bishops O'Hara, 
of Scranton, and Shanahan, of Harrisburg, themselves newly 
consecrated ; Bayley, of Newark, destined to .succeed to the See 
of Baltimore and exercise a strong influence on Bishop Gib- 
bons' life; McGill, of Richmond, whose chair he was to occupy 
four years later; Whelan, of Wheeling; Domenec, of Pitts- 

• An extended account of these ceremonies was given in the Catholic Mirror, 
the church paper of the Baltimore Archdiocese, -August 22, 1868, which is authority 
for many of the facts related here. 



burg, and Lynch, of Charleston. Dr. Henry B. Coskery, vicar' 
general of the diocese, was a deacon-of-honor to the Arch- 
bishop and shared the regrets of the Cathedral household in 
losing such an agreeable and useful companion. 

Father Foley spoke from an overflowing heart in the words 
of his sermon addressed to the new vicar apostolic. "And 
you. Right Reverend Sir," he said, "are to go to the large State 
of North Carolina. It appalls one to think of that State of 
more than a million inhabitants, with but a few altars and one 
or two priests to minister at them. This is the work which 
the Holy Ghost, which the Supreme Pontiff, which the united 
body of our bishops in council assembled, have cut out for you, 
a work which plainly bespeaks the character which you hold 
with them. It would not do for me to speak from personal 
observation and with the feelings which I bear toward you. 
You have been associated with us, like your Right Reverend 
companion, at this altar. You were of our household and 
home. We have had the opportunity of observing in both 
not only those great characteristics which ought to be found in 
every Christian priest, but also those interior traits of virtue 
which embellish and complete the man of God. We, then, who 
have lived with you for years, if our testimony be of avail, 
added to that which the Holy Spirit, the Supreme Pontiff and 
the prelates of our country have given, cheerfully and truth- 
fully offer it. We have seen you both doing the toil of the 
priesthood, helping the poor, instructing the ignorant, visiting 
the sick at all hours; thinking nothing too laborious or too 
fatiguing for yourself and always willing to take not only your 
share of the labors, but ready to take a larger portion, that 
you might relieve your brother priests. 

"Again, I say to you, that I cannot congratulate you on 
going to North Carolina, but I do rejoice for the honor which 
the Church of God has conferred on you, and I congratulate 
your flock, few and scattered, upon the advantage they are to 
derive from the apostolic mission you are to establish in that 


State, which, in a rehgious sense, may be called a desert. It 
will not be long, I predict, before that desert will be made to 
bloom and produce much fruit, and your vicariate, now so poor 
and uninviting, will be able to compare with other dioceses 
of longer existence in religious prosperity," 

The young Bishop remained in Baltimore a short time, con- 
firming a class at his former church, St. Bridget's, dedicating 
St. Joseph's Monastery, since noted as a center for the work 
of the Passionists, and otherwise assisting Archbishop Spald- 

The Archbishop and Rev. Bernard J. McManus,of St. John's 
Church, Baltimore, accompanied him to Wilmington, N. C, 
where he arrived on Friday evening, October 30. He was 
received with joy by a delegation of the laity, headed by Rev. 
Mark S. Gross, a beloved priest of St. Thomas' Church, the 
only sanctuary of the Catholic faith in the city. The Bishop 
and his companions were taken in carriages to the residence of 
Col. F. W. Kerchner, one of the principal residents, a parish- 
ioner of St. Thomas', who welcomed them with southern hos- 
pitality. Major Reilly made an address in behalf of the laity, 
expressing gratitude that at last a bishop had been sent to 
North Carolina to build up the work of the Church and pledg- 
ing the co-operation of Catholics as far as their means would go. 

The new bishop responded with deep sincerity, thanking the 
faithful for their reception and hoping that the future would 
strengthen the bonds already established between the diocese 
and himself. He knew that the Catholics in the State were 
few and far between. He had not come among them to seek 
personal comfort; sent by constituted authority, he had only 
one object — their spiritual good and the salvation of souls. 
Regardless of sacrifices and difficulties, he was ready to ex- 
pend his utmost efforts in the work, and he did not doubt that 
he would receive cordial co-operation. Archbishop Spalding 
spoke briefly, encouraging the Carolinians with hopes for the 
spread of the faith. 


But there was another side to the picture. On the night fol- 
lowing Bishop Gibbons' arrival, he beheld for the first time a 
torchlight procession of negroes, who were then, by alliance 
with the "carpet-baggers" from the North, in political control 
of the State. As he described the scene, it appeared like an 
inferno. "Is my lot to be cast in these surroundings?" he 
thought, with dismay. These wild and ignorant elements, 
suddenly sprung from slavery to power, had siiaken the politi- 
cal and social fabric of the state to its foundations. Power to 
them meant an opportunity for turning loose the impulses of 
savagery. They even seized churches and devoted them to 
any use that suited their whim. 

Soon after the new bishop arrived he was told of how the 
Catholic Church at New Bern had been saved a short time 
before from destruction. Captain McNamara, of the Federal 
Army, was riding past the church, when he saw a body of 
persons gathered about the door, apparently in charge of it, 
and asked their business. 

"We have occupied this church for school purposes," said 
one of them. 

"What is your authority?" inquired the Captain. 

"Our authority is that of the United States Government and 
of Jesus Christ," answered the school mistress. 

"Well," remarked the Captain, "that is pretty good author- 
ity ; but, as a Federal officer, I am accustomed to obey written 
authority. Can you show papers from the sources you have 

The teacher was at a loss for words, and the Captain con- 
tinued : 

"As you cannot produce the papers, my order is that you 
vacate this church at once and enter it no more for such pur- 

The shadow of the negro and "carpet-bagger" regime 
stretched from the mountains to the sea. On the first occa- 
sion when the bishop went to vote in the State, a negro official 


demanded that he show naturaHzation papers, and he had diffi- 
culty in convincing the suspicious black that he was native 
born. Another negro official ordered him peremptorily to tear 
down a frame shed on the church property in Wilmington 
because a city ordinance provided that buildings should be of 
brick or stone. The bishop pointed out that wooden buildings 
were standing on city property, but the negro insisted, and he 
was forced to cover the shed with tin. 

Writing later of his experiences at this period,* he expressed 
the view that, "While right-thinking men are ready to accord 
to the colored citizen all to which he is fairly entitled, yet to 
give him control over a highly intellectual and intricate civili- 
zation, in creating which he has borne no essential part, and 
for conducting which his antecedents have manifestly unfitted 
him, would be hurtful to the country as well as to himself." 
In a subsequent political campaign in Marylandf he declared 
himself publicly against taking the suffrage from the negroes, 
but he adhered consistently to the view that their domination 
in political affairs would be madness. 

On the Sunday after his arrival, the Bishop was installed in 
St. Thomas' Church. A pouring autumn rain descended, but 
the Church was filled. Archbishop Spalding preached a ser- 
mon, which served as a cordial introduction of the new prelate 
to the vicariate. "Your Bishop," he said, "was recommended 
by the Council of Bishops held in Baltimore a few years ago. 
He received their unanimous vote and holds his commission 
from Rome. I know him well. He is beloved by all who 
know him in Baltimore. There are few Catholics here, and 
they are poor. We cannot expect much at first. The King- 
dom of God, steady in its increase, is the work of more than 
1, 800 years. The apostles were poor. They enriched the world 
with their heroic deeds of Christianity. They never failed, nor 
will they ever fail in their successors. I recommend your 

* Reminiscences of Cardinal Gibbons read before the United States Catholic 
Historical Society of New York, May 25, 1S91. 
1 1908. 


Bishop to you, not only to Catholics, but to all good Chris- 
tian men who have the spread of Christ's religion on earth at 
heart. * * * jj^ j^^s i^ot yet chosen his seat. For the 
present, he will reside among you. He improves upon ac- 
quaintance. Though he will be found uncompromising in his 
principles of faith, he will be charitable to all, assist all, irre- 
spective of sect or creed." 

Bishop Gibbons postponed his own address lo the congrega- 
tion until vespers the same day. On that occasion he began 
with expressions of gratitude to the Archbishop, who had left 
many pressing duties in Baltimore, "at the call of friendship," 
to install him in his new diocese. He had come among them 
as a stranger, and yet he could not look upon himself in that 
light, called, as he was, by the Supreme Head of the Church to 
be their spiritual father. Although he knew scarcely a face 
among all those in front of him, he knew the people of the dio- 
cese as citizens and sons of the South, for so was he. They 
were not only united to one another by the bonds of a common 
faith, but were brothers linked by the ties of a common country 
and having the same material interests. He had not doubted 
that a welcome awaited him in North Carolina, and would do 
his best to prove worthy of it.* 

The field, as Father Foley had intimated, was almost un- 
tilled. In the whole vicariate there were but three priests — 
Father Gross, Rev. Lawrence P. O'Connell and Rev. H. P. 
Northrop — and about 800 Catholics. The faith which Bishop 
Gibbons had come to teach was not understood, but his wide 
sympathies and singular freedom from prejudice well fitted 
him for his trying task. Father O'Connell was stationed at 
Charlotte, and Father Northrop, afterward Bishop of Charles- 
ton, was at New Bern. Undaunted by his difficulties, the 
young Bishop began his labors. As in many Southern 
churches, four small rooms had been partitioned off behind 
the sanctuary in the rear of St. Thomas' — two on the ground 

• Catholic Mirror, Nov. 14, 1868 ; Wilmington Daily Journal, Nov. 3, 1868. 


floor and two upstairs — and these formed the pastoral resi- 
dence. Father Gross shared his narrow quarters with the 
Bishop, there being no means to provide an episcopal house. 
These two devoted men of God were attached to each other by 
the warmest personal ties. Father Gross' large-hearted charity- 
led him to give away so much that Bishop Gibbons sometimes 
found himself hard pressed to supply the funds for their little 
establishment. It was said of this saintly priest that if he had 
more than one hat or pair of trousers, he was sure to bestow 
the extra one on some needy parishioner. On one occasion, 
when he entered a store, it was noticed that he wore a laced 
shoe on one foot and a buttoned shoe on the other. When 
asked about it, he replied that he had given a pair to a poor 
man and had not noticed that they were not alike. 

The Bishop had raised $7,000 before he left Baltimore to 
buy additional ground adjoining St. Thomas' Church, which 
was a small building and which he designed to enlarge. He 
spent some time in consolidating the foundations of the work 
in Wilmington, and then started on a tour of his diocese. 
Throughout the State he traveled, preaching and teaching, 
studying each locality, and, wherever opportunity offered, 
planting the seeds of a Catholic congregation. The leading 
people of the State, Protestants as well as Catholics, received 
him in their homes. When no other means were available, he 
instructed and preached in Protestant churches, courthouses, 
public halls, and even in Masonic lodge rooms. On a visit to 
Greenville, which he reached early one morning by boat, he 
went to the hotel to register, and met Dr. O'Hagan, a Prot- 
estant physician, who insisted that the Bishop should be his 
guest. During the morning he held a sort of levee. When it 
was learned that he intended to preach, the local judge offered 
him the use of the courthouse, and the trustees of the Meth- 
odist church put their house of worship at his disposal. He 
chose the church, and preached there at night to a large con- 
gregation, nearly all of whom were Protestants. The people 


were summoned by the church bell; the choir was the regular 
one of the church; the Bishop read from a Protestant Bible, 
and the only part of the service which was of his own faith 
was the sermon. 

Everywhere crowds flocked to hear this liberal and zealous 
apostle of the faith. They felt a pride in the youthful prelate, 
their own Bishop, pre-eminently a man of the people, mingling 
with all and winning friends everywhere by his rare graces of 
manner. His gifts as a preacher were enough in themselves to 
form an attraction in the communities to which he went. 
Aimed especially to win those who were full of hostility to his 
creed, his sermons were of the simple truths of the gospel, the 
brotherhood of man, duty to God and country. Prejudice 
melted before his words. In the broken condition of the South, 
it was recognized on every hand that where Bishop Gibbons 
founded a church, it was an element of stability, of spiritual, 
social and material improvement, an inspiration to hope and 
progress. Carolinians knew that he felt their woes and shared 
in their struggle upward from the ruins left by war. It was 
said of him that he came to know every Catholic in the State 
by name. 

His hardships in his travels would have taxed the strongest 
frame. One of his converts was Dr. J. C. Monk, a physician 
who lived at Newton Grove, nearly a hundred miles from Wil- 
mington. His own account of Dr. Monk's conversion was as 
follows :* 

"While I was absent in Europe at the Vatican Council, in 
1870, a letter came through the post addressed 'To Any Cath- 
olic Priest of Wilmington, N. C Father Gross received the 
letter, which was one of inquiry about the doctrines of the 
Catholic Church, and from Dr. J. C. Monk. A correspondence 
was opened between us after my return from Rome. I rec- 
ommended certain Catholic books. Dr. Monk procured these, 
and, having more fully instructed himself and his family in 

• Reminiscences of Cardinal Gibbons read before the United States Catholic 
Historical Society of New York. 


the faith, he and his household were all received into the 
Church. He came to Wilmington to make a profession of 
faith. I baptized the family and learned, with the deepest inter- 
est, of the circumstances that had led to his conversion and of 
his hopes in regard to the community in which he had lived 
all his life as a prominent physician. 

"This was a remarkable conversion. The finger of God was 
here. Nor was the conversion to be barren of results. Dr. 
Monk returned home, after receiving my promise of a visit to 
his family. In due time Father Gross visited Newton Grove, 
and to a great throng in the open air preached on the true 
faith. From that time an earnest inquiry into the tenets of the 
Catholic Church sprang up among the people. Dr. Monk was 
a providential man for the diffusion of the faith. He was 
highly respected, and as a physician had access to every family 
in all that region. His zeal to enlighten the people was sur- 
passed only by his solid piety and good example. Possessed of 
means, he liberally aided in every way the spread of the faith. 

"A few months later I redeemed my promise of a visit to 
Newton Grove. The trip came near imperiling my life. I 
remember it was the month of March. The day of my de- 
parture opened with difficulties. The railway train left very 
early in the morning. Rising at 4 o'clock, I found the weather 
cold and rainy. The carriage failing to call for me, I was 
compelled, with the help of a boy, to carry my large, heavy 
valise, packed with mission articles, the distance of a mile to 
the depot. As I traveled northward, the rain became a furi- 
ous storm of sleet and snow. Reaching the station, I found 
the brother of Dr. Monk, who had come to meet me, and on 
horseback, too, with ax in hand, to cut our way through the 
forests. The sleet and snow had covered the country and 
bound to earth, in many places across our course, the pine sap- 
lings that grew in dense bodies up to the margin of the road. 
A neighbor was with him to take me in his buggy. We started. 
It was a journey to be remembered — a trip of 21 miles in the 


teeth of wind, rain, sleet and snow. After a short exposure, 
I was all but frozen by the violence of the storm and the in- 
tense cold. We had ridden a number of miles, when, to my 
delight, my friend drew rein at his own house. I entered the 
hospitable door, and the change was most grateful — from 
cold and misery to warmth and comfort. 

"In a few moments the housewife had brought in a hot 
bath for my frozen feet, and the husband a supplement in the 
way of a hot drink. The generous hospitality restored, in a 
very short time, my almost perished frame. They were both 
strangers, but the closest friends could not have treated me 
more kindly. I remained for dinner, and, as the weather had 
become clear, we proceeded on our journey. The next morn- 
ing being Sunday, I celebrated mass in Dr. Monk's house, and 
preached there later in the day to an earnest audience. The 
religious interest was profound. It promised to become, as 
it truly did, a movement of the whole district toward the 
Catholic Church. 

"R<^gular appointments were made for a visit by the priest, 
and in a short time the brother of Dr. ]\Ionk, with his family, 
embraced the Catholic faith. The congregations that met on 
the occasions of the priest's visits to Newton Grove were so 
large that it became necessary to erect a temporary structure of 
rough boards for their accommodation.* This tabernacle an- 
swered admirably for the services, which were arranged to 
suit the primitive state of affairs in that section. The priest 
appeared on the rostrum in his secular dress, and, after prayer 
and reading of the Scriptures, delivered a long instruction on 
the Catholic Church or some one of its doctrines. The preach- 
ing, directed at the conversion of the people, w-as necessarily 
simple in its character, historical and didactic. Catechisms 
and books of instruction were freely distributed after the ser- 
mons. An attractive feature of these services was the sing- 
ing, by select voices, of beautiful hymns. 

• The number soon grew to three hundi-ed. 


"The Catholic movement daily gathered strength by the 
accession of many of the most respectable families in the vicin- 
ity. Within a short time the number of conversions warranted 
the erection of a church and schoolhouse. On their comple- 
tion, this apostolic mission became firmly established and con- 
tinues to prosper." 

Another church sprang from a visit by a priest to three 
Irish brothers, peddlers, who had settled 80 miles from a 
church. Their families were baptized, and conversions among 
the country folk multiplied. In a short time a flourishing 
parish was established. 

A missionary found at Chinquepin, a village far in the re- 
cesses of the North Carolina pines, an old Irish woman who 
had not seen a priest in 45 years. She said her faith was still 
as fresh as her native sod, and that she had never omitted her 
prayers. A congregation of converts was founded, for whom 
a chapel and school were subsequently erected. 

On his mission journeys remote from railways, the Bishop 
used to ride in a dilapidated wagon drawn by two horses. A 
young priest, or sometimes a negro driver, accompanied him. 
The vehicle carried packages of clothing, flour and medicines 
for the poor; clerical robes, mission literature, and food for 
the wayfarers, for often they ate their noonday meal under 
a great tree, far from a habitation. This old wagon finally 
became so unsafe that the Bishop's friends were afraid it 
would break down and leave him stranded in the wilderness. 
They repeatedly offered to buy him a carriage, but he always 
replied that he thought the wagon might last a little longer. 
"Friends," he used to say, "you can give me the money, if you 
will, for the Church needs it, but not for any vehicle for my 
own use." 

Priests were so rare in North Carolina in those days that 
they sometimes had difficulty in proving their identity. While 
Father O'Connell was traveling near Asheville, worn out by a 
long journey, he arrived at the house of a Catholic family and 


presented himself. The woman of the house had been im- 
posed upon by a pretended clergyman some time before, and 
refused to believe Father O'Connell. He showed her his mis- 
sal, vestments and breviary, which he carried in a valise, but 
she was still unconvinced. In despair, the tired priest gave up 
the attempt and turned, heartsick, from the door. Seeking 
spiritual comfort, he sat down beside a fence and began saying 
his beads. The woman opened the door, saw him at his devo- 
tions and was convinced at last. "Now," she said, "I know 
your are a holy man of God. I could be deceived about other 
things, but not those beads!" She welcomed warmly to her 
home the stranger whom she had so lately rejected. 

In making a visit to an outlying community with Father 
Northrop, the man whose guest the bishop was to be drove up 
in a carriage, sitting bolt upright with singular fixity and hold- 
ing the reins tightly. As he approached, it became evident that 
he was intoxicated and was trying to discharge his function as 
driver without betraying himself. The bishop began a severe 
reprimand, saying that it was the first time in many years 
that a bishop had visited the locality, and it was incumbent 
upon him to conduct himself properly on such an occasion. 

"Your Grace," was the ardent reply, "I felt so overjoyed 
that I just could not help getting tipsy!" 

Making the best of circumstances, the Bishop and Father 
Northrop entered the carriage, and each took a position on 
one side of their host, holding him erect by their combined 
efforts while he drove them to their destination. 

At New Bern the Bishop had some copies of a circular 
printed, prescribing the manner in which worship might be 
held on Sunday where there was no priest. The faithful were 
to assemble at a designated place, and one of them was to read 
the prayers for mass, after which a portion was to be read 
from one of the Catholic books appointed for such occasions. 
The children and others in need of catechetical instruction 


were then to be arranged in classes and taught prayers and 
Christian doctrine. 

Leaving New Bern, the Bishop stopped at Swift Creek, 
where he confirmed Mr. and Mrs. Nelson in the garret, "the 
only unoccupied place at our disposal." After a short visit to 
the town of Washington, where he "said mass in Dr. Galla- 
gher's house," he proceeded to Plymouth. There he was hos- 
pitably received by Captain McNamara, who had saved the 
Church at New Bern from being turned into a carpet-bag 
school. Driving five miles from that town, he baptized and 
confirmed Mr. Isaac Swift, who had been a rich planter, but 
was greatly reduced in fortune. 'T started to pursue the 
journey 12 miles further, for the purpose of visiting a Catholic 
family," the Bishop wrote, "but the vehicle broke down and 
we were obliged to return." 

At Edenton he was able to say mass in "the finest Catholic 
Church in the State" — St. Ann's. He preached there to a 
large congregation, composed chiefly of Protestants. No 
wonder! The Catholics of Edenton and vicinity then num- 
bered eighteen, about half of whom were converts. They were 
anxious to have a resident priest, who might also attend the 
near-by missions, and Bishop Gibbons expressed the hope "that 
Providence will soon enable me to gratify their wishes." 

He preached in the courthouse at Tarboro, and noted that 
"the most intelligent citizens of the town were present, includ- 
ing three judges." At Wilson, the next stop, he also preached 
in the courthouse, and found that many Protestants had prom- 
ised to subscribe for the erection of a Catholic Church. 

Arriving at Raleigh, he was entertained at the handsome 
residence of William Grimes. The Legislature was in session, 
and many of its members went to hear him preach in St. John's 


He returned to Wilmington December 17, after a trip of 
four weeks, the results of which he summarized as follows : 

"Number of miles traveled by rail, stage and steamboat, 925. 
"Number ot towns and stations visited, 16. 
"Number of Catholics in various places, 400. 
"Converts confirmed, IG; total number, 04, 
"Converts baptized, 10 ; total number. IG." 

The need of money to carry on the work was pressing. In 
the same month he received a draft for 1,600 francs from thj 
Society for the Propagation of the Faith, a total of 8,000 
francs having been allotted to his vicariate for 1868. 

In preparing his Lenten regulations for 1869, the Bishop 
wrote that they were about the same as in the Diocese of 
Baltimore, except that "milk is allowed in this vicariate, owing 
to the scarcity of tea and coffee in certain sections of the 

Having received a circular asking a small subscription in 
behalf of the American College at Rome, he replied that "the 
impoverished condition of the State and the smallness of the 
Catholic population" made it impossible to contribute. 

He installed Rev. J. V. McNamara as pastor of the Church 
in Raleigh, July 11. The Governor, Chief Justice, several 
of the associate judges and many prominent citizens were 
present. By this time there were 100 Catholics at the State 

At Charlotte, where he arrived July 16, he confirmed 43 
persons and baptized Mrs. Mary E. Butler, wife of John T. 
Butler, his host during his stay in Charlotte, having received 
her profession of faith. A short time later he dedicated St. 
James' Church, at Concord, whose congregation, consisting of 
60 persons, were all converts, with one exception. 

He found three Catholics on a visit to Morgantown, one of 
whom, Mr. McGraw, had ten children, all Protestants, having 
been reared in the faith of their mother. From that place he 
traveled 26 miles, over a beautiful mountain countrv, to 


Moore's, in McDowell county. On August 8 he observed the 
total eclipse of the sun from the Blue Ridge. 

He traveled 24 miles on horseback, August 9, and arrived 
at Asheville, where he preached in the courthouse and bought 
a lot for a church. 

The Bishop set out in November, 1870, for a second trip 
over the eastern part of the State, visiting many towns. Con- 
versions were still numerous. At Plymouth he found that a 
certain Irish Catholic had been induced to join the Baptists. 
Immersed, the convert was invited to say prayer. He gave out 
"Hail Holy Queen." The astonishment of the audience was 
immense. Tb.e convert afterward returned to the Catholic 

Church. . 

In August, 1871, the bishop started on a visitation to the 
western part of the State. From the town of Company Shops to 
Greensboro he was conveyed on a freight engine. At Gas- 
ton he found a congregation of 80, where there had been but 
36 on his f^rst visit, two years before. At Lincolnton he 
pr-ached to a large audience in the courthouse, the people 
being, no doubt, moved by some curiosity to see the first 
bishop who was ever present in that town. He found that 
a handsome church had been erected by this time at Asheville, 
which he dedicated September 24, preaching on Charity. 

Bishop Gibbons recognized early that schools were one of 
the greatest necessities of the stricken South and a potent 
means of propagating religion. ''We can testify wrote 
Father Gross, ''to his self-sacrificing zeal for the establishment 
of Catholic schools throughout the vicariate, under stress ot 
direst poverty and the most adverse surroundings._ io this 
end he not onlv sacrificed money, and time, and labor in begging 
money, but descended to teach himself daily a class in the 
parochial school, to help and encourage the priests whose 
services, for the want of lay teachers, had to be gratuitously 

• Rev. Mark S. Gross, in the Carmelite Review. May, 1895. 


In 1869 the Bishop brought to Wihnington a colony of 
Sisters of Mercy from the mother house in Charleston and es- 
tablished them in one of the old-fashioned Southern homes, 
called the Peyton mansion, which he bought for $16,000 — a 
fortune in Carolina in those days. The people wondered 
whence the money had come. But a small part of it had been 
raised in the vicariate, the Bishop having obtained most of 
the sum through several visits to the Northern States. More 
than $5,000 was collected in Albany alone. The sisters 
founded schools at Charlotte and Hickory, as well as at Wil- 

One of the most enduring works of the Bishop's administra- 
tion was the establishment of Mary Help Abbey by the Bene- 
dictine Order at Belmont, near Charlotte. For this • urpose 
Rev. J. J. O'Connell gave his estate of 500 acres, to which he 
had returned after the war, and whence he attended the neigh- 
boring missions. Arch Abbot Wimmer, of St. Vincent's Ab- 
bey, Pennsylvania, was applied to for a colony for the vicari- 
ate. The devoted Abbot received at the same time a similar 
petition from a far more favorable diocese, but he chose North 
Carolina, and Rev. Herman Wolf, formerly a Lutheran min- 
ister, was sent there as prior. 

The first shelter for the fathers was a frame tavern a hun- 
dred years old, of Revolutionary celebrity. For a time the 
outlook was so discouraging that the abandonment of the 
priory was debated in the chapter of the abbey in Pennsylvania. 
At this critical period a number of young Benedictines volun- 
teered to go to Belmont if allowed to take with them an abbot 
of their own selection. This offer was accepted, and they 
chose Rev. Leo Haid to lead them in the undertaking. With 
his administration a new era began. Handsome and ample 
buildings were erected, and St. Mary's College was launched 
as one of the successful educational institutions of the South. 
a training school for a native Southern clergy, so much needed 
in the aggressive work of the Church. 


It was difficult to get priests to keep up with the progress of 
the work in North CaroHna. Their task was full of obstacles 
and they were altogether unsalaried. But the spiritual re- 
wards which they won cheered them on, and, as the success of 
their labors became known in other dioceses, outside help was 
less difficult for Bishop Gibbons to obtain. 

His experiences in North Carolir.a. coming as they did at a 
comparatively impressionable period of his life, exercised a 
great influence over him. Previous to that time his lot had 
been the ordinary one of a priest, schooled in the repressive 
discipline of the seminary, and then thrown out into the active 
and arduous labor of a parish, with little time to come in con- 
tact with the world, except as represented by his own flock. 
In North Carolina he was suddenly thrust into a different 
atmosphere. The people were not only nearlytall Protestants, 
but tens of thousands of them had no conception of what the 
Catholic Church was or what it represented. 

From the beginning his mission was, first, to calm antago- 
nistic opinion, and then to lay a foundation for the spread of 
his faith. His work, being so largely among Protestants, gave 
him a far better comprehension than the average priest receives 
of what they stand for in matters of religion and their sin- 
cerity of view. By force of circumstances, he had to concede 
to them desire equal to his own for the truths of Christian 
faith. He was not less a Catholic when he left Carolina than 
when he went there. In fact, it seems that the foundations of 
his belief had been strengthened by opposition ; but he had ac- 
quired a broad charity, a wide horizon of view, from which he 
never separated himself in later life, and which stamped him 
as a friend of men of other creeds. Impressions gained in 
country towns and secluded rural homes were felt later in the 
Vatican itself. 


At the Vatican Council of 1870. 

It was but a step for this man of destiny in the Church 
from his pioneer work in the North CaroHna forests to the 
august assemblage of the Vatican Council of 1870. He had 
served his vicariate scarcely more than a year, when that 
memorable gathering, the first general council of the Church 
since Trent, 300 years before, convened. When the bishops 
sat at Trent, America had been discovered but a short time, 
and not all of them were sure that it was not a part of the 
Indies. So secure was the papacy in its political power over 
a great part of the civilized world, that Alexander VI had but 
recently issued his bull of demarcation giving to Portugal all 
of the newly discovered lands east of a line 100 leagues west 
of the Azores, and to Spain all to the westward. 

America had no episcopate, and only a few adventurous 
priests had gone forth as messengers of the faith to the un- 
known peoples spread over its vast area. Now it was the 
home of many millions of Catholics, and the pontiffs were 
beginning to see in its future the Church's brightest hope for 
the expansion of her spiritual influence. From Canada to 
Patagonia the bishops were called to Rome to deliberate, in the 
providence of God, upon the welfare of the souls of men ; and 
the American element constituted a force unknown in the 
previous councils which had declared the judgment of the 

While the problems which led Pius IX to summon the 
council were chiefly of European origin, they were not con- 
fined to the Eastern Hemisphere. Wars had been flaming 
upon every hand, and the campaigns of Garibaldi had been 



carried almost to the doors of the Vatican. The Crimea had 
reeked with Russian, French and Enghsh blood. Austria had 
been humbled at Sadovva. In the United States the great 
Civil War was raging when Pius took the first steps toward 
convoking the council. The independence of the papacy itself 
was threatened, and none knew when there might be another 
Avignon. Troops of Napoleon HI had been supporting the 
Pope in the midst of Italian hostility. Catholics throughout 
the world had become impatient to the bursting point from the 
continual restraints exercised upon the papacy. In their minds, 
from long habit, they associated its spiritual independence with 
the temporal power; and the prospects of the loss of this filled 
the bishops with alarm. Many could not, from the nature of 
things, conceive the possibility of a pontiff shorn of political 
power, yet able to exercise, despite all obstacles, the spiritual 
oversight of Catholics throughout the world and aggressively 
to press forward in the propagation of the faith. 

Of 36 crowned heads, 24 were Protestant, and in almost 
every country there was a powerful current of public opinion 
in favor of the separation of church and state. Perhaps even 
more was to be feared from Catholic than non-Catholic sov- 
ereigns. Regalism — the interference of Catholic monarchs 
in the purely internal affairs of the Church — had grown to be 
an almost insupportable burden. Political meddling hampered 
the pontificate in the selection of bishops ; and priests were in- 
terfered with almost at the steps of the altar. Private ambi- 
tion and intrigue interwove every step in the adjustment of 
the direct relations between church and state. Ecclesiastical 
seminaries, basking in the favor of powerful rulers, taught 
w^hat Rome called heresy. 

In the first era of the Church, kings and nations had been 
gradually brought in harmony with the papacy, until the real 
union of Christendom had become a fact ; but in the 300 years 
following the Council of Trent there had been a steady cen- 
trifugal force to which the constitution of the Church had 


never adapted itself. Many of the decrees of Trent related 
to conditions which had disappeared; others needed radical 
modification. Pope Pius was inclined to consider that the 
time was ripe for convoking the council as an "extraordinary 
remedy for the extraordinary evils of the Christian world."* 

Nearly all the cardinals whom Pius consulted in December, 
1864, when he first announced that he had been deliberating 
regarding an ecumenical council, strongly advised that it be 
convoked. They declared it to be their opinion that the spe- 
cial character of the age was a tendency to overthrow the an- 
cient Christian institutions, founded on a supernatural prin- 
ciple, and to erect a new order, based on natural reason alone. 
They ascribed this tendency to two errors — first, that society 
as such had no duties toward God, religion being considered to 
be for individual conscience only; second, that human reason 
was sufficient to guide man to a higher knowledge and destiny 
apart from the organization of the Church. 

They pointed to the revolt from the authority of revelation 
and the growth of naturalism, rationalism, pantheism, social- 
ism and communism. Liberalism, leading to the declaration 
of the supremacy of the state rather than the church over edu- 
cation, marriage and consecrated property and to abridgment 
of the temporal power of the head of the Church, was set forth 
as the practical result of these tendencies. The cardinals dwelt 
on the need of amending the discipline of the Church, untouched 
for300 years ; of better provision for the education of the clergy 
and the government of monastic orders, and of bringing the 
laity to a more general obedience to ecclesiastical laws, almost 
ignored in some countries. From these general sources many 
specific developments were cited, such as laxity in the ob- 
servance of the marriage tie, mixed marriages, secret socie- 
ties, the haste to get rich by questionable methods, non-uni- 
formity in the observance of feasts and fasts. An ardent 
desire was expressed by the consultors for the reunion of 

• Manning, True Story of the Vatican Council. 


Protestants in the fold of the Catholic Church; and it was 
hoped that the acts of the council would open a way for this 
great undertaking. 

Only two of the cardinals spoke of papal infallibility, whicK 
was destined to be the overshadowing question for the council. 
A few alluded to the preservation of the temporal power. By 
far the largest number of replies dealt with subjects embraced 
in the supernatural character of religion and the eternal des- 
tiny of man, leaving material topics out of consideration as 
worthy to be discussed, if at all, in the light of the spiritual 
progress of the world. 

Pius deliberated long before finally deciding to convoke the 
council. The bull of indiction was dated June 29, 1868, and 
the tremendous work of preparing in detail for the labors of 
the gathering began. 

In October, 1869, Bishop Gibbons sailed from Baltimore In 
the company of Archbishop Spalding and other American 
prelates.* Landing at Southampton, he proceeded by easy 
stages through France to Italy. What emotions swept his 
imagination as he beheld for the first time the Eternal City, the 
chosen seat of the successors of Peter! The ardor of youth, 
as well as the impulses of piety, must have tinged his view 
as he gazed on the storied Vatican, in whose basilica he was 
soon to sit with the fathers of the Church from every quarter 
of the world. He was the youngest bishop in that gathering 
of more than 700. "My youth and inexperience," he wrote, 
"imposed upon me a discreet silence among my elders. I do 
not remember to have missed a single session, and was an 
attentive listener at all debates."! 

The American and English bishops had, perhaps, a greater 
stake in the decision of the question of papal infallibility than 
any others. It had been accepted as a doctrine of the Church 

• Catholic Mirror, October 23, 1869. 

t Personal Reminiscences of the Vatican Council, Cardinal Gibbons in the 
North American Review for April, 1894. 


so long in continental Europe that the opposition to it which 
might arise there would subside, in all probability, as the true 
meaning of the definition was comprehended. In England, 
from the time of Henry VIII, this had been a subject which 
had aroused Protestants to defiant denial. Sovereigns, in their 
coronation oaths at Westminster, had abjured it as a heresy. 
In America the problem was to win non-Catholics to the 
Church, as well as to hold the allegiance of the faithful; and 
this could only be done in the clear light of public opinion. The 
chief obstacle to the spread of the Catholic Church on this 
side of the Atlantic had been the impression that it was subject 
to foreign control. Enlightened Americans of Protestant 
ancestry could not wholly reconcile themselves to papal su- 
premacy of a universal church ; and the spread-eagle type of 
patriotism was moved to explosion at the very thought of it. 

The American bishops did not question the truth of the 
doctrine of infallibility; they unalterably adhered to it in both 
belief and practice. Some of them could see, however, no use 
in defining it at that time, and were strongly of the opinion that 
it would raise another cloud between them and the Protestants 
when their Church was at last piercing the mists of misrepre- 
sentation which had darkened her path so long. The doctrine 
sought to be defined with the weight of a general council was 
that the pontiff, when speaking ex cathedra, in the exercise of 
his office as the shepherd of all Christians, and declaring a doc- 
trine of faith or morals to be held bv the universal Church, was 
infallible. This was very different from a declaration of per- 
sonal infallibility on all subjects, but it would be hard to get 
non-Catholics to understand it. To say that it had been held 
before and was merely the definition of a dogma containing 
nothing new might complicate the situation by raising added 

When Bishop Gibbons arrived in Rome it did not appear 
that the question of infallibility was likely to come before the 
council. Anti-Catholic papers, it is true, had been filled with 


rumors that a Jesuitical conspiracy was on foot to clothe the 
Pope with this attribute. The schemata, or list of topics to be 
treated by the council, had been prepared by a Commission of 
Direction, composed of five cardinals, an archbishop and eight 
bishops, with 102 consultors, of whom 10 were bishops, 69 
secular priests and 23 regulars. When the commission, in 
preparing the outline on the subject of the Roman pontiff and 
his temporal power, came to discuss infallibility, two questions 
were raised. The first was, "Whether the infallibility of the 
Roman pontiff can be defined as an article of faith ;" the sec- 
ond, "Whether it ought to be defined as an article of faith."* 
The commission voted affirmatively, with unanimous voice, in 
reply to the first question; concerning the second, all but one 
agreed in the view that the subject ought not to be proposed in 
the council unless it should be demanded by the bishops. The 
subject was thus, for the time being, set aside. 

Notwithstanding the action of the Commission of Direc- 
tion, a majority of the American bishops saw, with dismay, a 
rapidly growing sentiment in favor of bringing the question 
before the council. This might be done by a petition to the 
Commission of Postulates or Propositions, which could intro- 
duce new subjects into the schemata. In a short time 450 of 
the 700 prelates had actually signed such a petition. About a 
hundred, including many of the Americans, signed a counter 
petition; but it became clearly evident that it was more diffi- 
cult to marshal influence on that side of the question. The 
Americans held a consultation at their college in Rome, and a 
large majority declared that it would be inexpedient to bring 
up the question. 

Bishop Gibbons, on account of his youth, did not feel justi- 
fied in expressing any opinion. Not five bishops in the whole 
council, said Cardinal Manning, could be justly thought to 
have opposed the truth of the doctrine. 

• Manning, True Story of the Vatican Council, p. 82 ct aeq. 


The council lasted from December 8, 1869, to July 18, 1870. 
In March the question of infallibility was formally presented. 
On the first vote 451 recorded themselves in favor of the de- 
cree, 88 against it, and 62 gave a conditional assent. The 
stage of argument, learned, logical and profound, was soon 
reached. It may be well to pause here for a brief survey of 
the reasons for and against the decree, as stated by the Arch- 
bishop of Florence, to whom Pius IX gave a commission to 
write the history of the council. 

On the negative side it was held that as the whole episcopate 
and priesthood and the faithful, with few exceptions, had re- 
ceived with veneration and docility the doctrinal decisions of 
the pontiffs, no necessity for such a definition existed. In or- 
der to define the question of infallibility with exactness, it 
would be necessary to prescribe the form and manner in which 
infallibility was to be exercised. This would be difficult, and 
would involve the Holy See in complications. The hope of 
reuniting the Eastern churches and of the return of Prot- 
estants to the fold would be weakened. Dissensions might be 
produced among Catholics themselves. 

"Let that suffice which has already been declared and has 
been believed by all," wrote a learned theologian of the oppo- 
sition, "that the Church, whether congregated in council or 
dispersed throughout the world, is always infallible, and the 
Supreme Pontiff, according to the words of the Council of 
Florence, is the teacher of the whole Church and of all Chris- 
tians. But as to the mysterious gift of infallibility which, by 
God, is bestowed upon the episcopate united to the Pope, and 
at the same time is bestowed in a special manner on the Su- 
preme Pontiff, it may be left as it is. The Church, as all 
Catholics believe, whether in an ecumenical council or by the 
Pope alone without a council, guards and explains the truth 
of revelation. It is not expedient or opportune to make fur- 
ther declarations, unless a proved necessity demands it, which 
necessity at present does not appear to exist." 


This about stated the case for the Americans. Their objec- 
tions might be summed up in a sentence — the fear that their 
propaganda among non-Cathohcs would be hindered and that 
pubhc opinion might revert to the conditions of "Knownoth- 
ing" times. 

Weighty and pious arguments were presented on the other 
side by devoted fathers of the Church. They held that such 
a definition would be opportune, because the doctrine was true ; 
for, if true, how could it be said to be inopportune? Has 
not God revealed it, they asked, and can it be permitted us to 
think that what He has thought it opportune to reveal, it is not 
opportune for us to declare? In the minds of objectors, "op- 
portune" must refer to something of a political or diplomatic 
character, some calculation of expediency relating to peoples or 
governments. This caution would be proper for legislatures 
or cabinets debating public questions of a secular nature; but 
the Church deals with the truths of revelation, and it is at all 
times opportune for her to declare what God has willed that 
man should know. It had been said that many revealed truths 
were not defined. This was true, and would be a strong argu- 
ment if the truth had never been denied. The infallibility of 
the Roman Pontiff having been denied, its definition became 
necessary. Some persons, in order to throw doubt on the doc- 
trine, or to prove it false, represented the denial of it to be 
ancient and widespread. This increased the need of declar- 
ing it by an authoritative decree. Protestants would say: "If 
you are not doubtful, why do you hesitate to declare it?" An- 
tagonists hoped to find a division among Catholics in order to 
gain leverage for an opinion that the Church was not really 
united and, therefore, not the authoritative custodian of the 
deposit of Divine truth. All Catholics believed that the 
Church, by the assistance of the Holy Ghost, is infallible. If 
it were left open to doubt whether the teaching of the head 
of the Church were true, those who believed that he might err 
could always contradict his teaching. A fallible head to an 


infallible body would be contrary to the logic of common sense. 
The Church during eighteen centuries had done many acts of 
supreme importance by its head alone. Were these acts fal- 
lible or infallible? The question had been formally raised, 
and, for the sake of Divine truth, it was contended, must be as 
formally solved. 

To the petition of the bishops, addressed to the Commission 
of Postulates or Propositions, was added an appendix, contain- 
ing reasons for their view and a citation from the authorities 
of provincial councils in support of it. Among these was an 
extract from the declarations of the Second Plenary Council 
of Baltimore, of which Bishop Gibbons had been assistant 
chancellor, and which it was hoped would have weight with 
the American prelates assembled at the Vatican. This decla- 
ration was : 

"The living and infallible authority flourishes in that Church 
alone which was built by Christ upon Peter, who is the 
head, leader and pastor of the whole Church, whose faith 
Christ promised should never fail ; which ever had legitimate 
pontiffs, dating their origin in unbroken line from Peter him- 
self, being seated in his chair and being the inheritors and 
defenders of the like doctrine, dignity, office and power. And 
because where Peter is, there also is the Church, and because 
Peter speaks in the person of the Roman Pontiff, ever lives in 
his successors, passes judgment and makes known the truths of 
faith to those who seek them, therefore, are the Divine declara- 
tions to be received in the manner in which they have been 
and are held by this Roman See of Blessed Peter, that mother 
and teacher of all churches, which has ever preserved whole 
the teachings delivered by Christ, and which has taught the 
faithful, showing to all men the paths of salvation and the 
doctrine of everlasting truth."* 

The declaration by the Council of Florence in 1439 was the 
favorite citation of those who urged that a definition be pro- 

•Acta et Decreta, Cone. Plen. II, Baltimore. 


mulgated. It was that "the Roman Pontiff is the true vicar 
of Christ and head of the whole church and is the father and 
teacher of all Christians; and to him in blessed Peter the full 
power was given by our Lord of feeding, ruling and govern- 
ing the universal Church." 

Nearly five hundred of the bishops, assembled in Rome in 
1867 to observe the centenary of the martyrdom of St. Peter 
and St. Paul, had addressed Pius IX in the following terms: 
"Believing that Peter has spoken by the mouth of Pius, what- 
ever has been said, confirmed and decreed by you to preserve 
the deposit of faith, we also repeat, confirm and profess, and 
with one mind and heart we reject all that you have judged it 
necessary to reprove and condemn as contrary to Divine faith, 
to the salvation of souls and to the good of society. For what 
the fathers of Florence defined in their Decree of Union is 
firmly and deeply impressed on our minds — that the Roman 
Pontiff is the vicar of Christ, the head of the whole Church, 
the father and teacher of all Christians." 

None claimed personal infallibility for the pontiff. In or- 
der to exclude the possibility of this interpretation, the title of 
the Vatican Council's decree was changed from ^'De Romani 
Pontificis Infallihilitate" (on the infallibility of the Roman 
Pontiff) to "De Romani Pontificis Infallihili Magisterio" (on 
the infallible teaching office of the Roman Pontiff). The mag- 
isterium or teaching office of the primacy was the doctrinal 
authority of the supreme ruler and teacher. It was held to be 
a Divine assistance inseparable from the office and not a quality 
inherent in the person of the Pope. 

The chapter on papal infallibility came to a vote in the 
council in July. On the first vote 451 of the fathers answered 
placet, or aye, 88 non placet, or no, and 62 placet jiixta modiim, 
or aye, with modifications. Nearly two hundred amendments, 
some of which were adopted, were offered. When the time 
came for the final action in public session, 533 voted placet, 
and only 2 now placet; 55 absented themselves, in order to 


avoid being recorded on the negative side of a question whose 
decision they considered inopportune ; 1 1 others were absent 
for unknown causes, and were supposed to have left Rome, as 
permission had been given several days before to begin the 
journey homeward. The two who voted non placet were 
Bishop Fitzgerald, of Little Rock, Ark., and the Bishop of the 
Italian Diocese of Caiazzo. They at once made their sub- 
mission and subscribed to the decree. 

Bishop Gibbons voted placet on the question on both occa- 
sions when it came before the council. As we have seen, his 
judgment was that the time for the definition was not oppor- 
tune; but, seeing the irresistible drift of opinion among the 
fathers of the Church, he could not cast his vote against a 
doctrine which agreed with his own belief and practice. 

So much doubt has been thrown upon the meaning of the 
declaration of infallibility that it may be well to quote its lan- 
guage. It read as follows : 

"Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the be- 
ginning of Christian faith, for the glory of God our Savior, the exalta- 
tion of the Catholic religion and the salvation of the Christian people, 
the sacred council approving, we teach and define that it is a dogma 
divinely revealed: That the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathe- 
dra — that is, when in the discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of 
all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a 
doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church — 
is, by the Divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, possessed 
of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that the 
Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and 
morals; and that, therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are 
irreformable of themselves and not from the consent of the Church." 

Of the monumental work of the council in dealing with the 
doctrinal, disciplinary and social problems which had arisen 
since Trent, nothing need be said here. In all questions except 
that of infallibility there was no sharp line of difference be- 
tween a majority of the Americans and the other fathers who 
sat in the Vatican. It was the one declaration of the gathering 
which profoundly stirred the external world. 


Contrary to expectation, this was less acutely evident in 
America than in Europe. Here there were no political bonds 
between church and state which might be unloosed by a declara- 
tion in Rome or anywhere else. No officeholder or politician 
in America had the vestige of authority to meddle in doctrinal 
definitions which in no way affected the civil government. 
There was no concordat to be debated in Congress. 

The Franco-Prussian War broke out while the council was 
in session. In a short time Bismarck and Von Moltke had 
crushed the power of Napoleon III. French troops having 
been withdrawn from Rome, the city was seized by Victor Em- 
manuel and Pius IX was deprived of the last remnant of that 
temporal power which had endured since the time of Charle- 
magne. It is clearly evident that in the whole of Europe a 
gradual weakening of the pontiff's potency in political affairs 
has taken place. In America it is perhaps true that the spread 
of the Catholic faith was arrested for a time ; but its marvelous 
development in the closing years of the nineteenth century is 
complete evidence that the dclaration of papal infallibility was 
not a permanent obstacle to the increase of spiritual results 
west of the Atlantic. Aggressive anti-Catholicism has flared 
up once or twice, but has found its strongest enemy in enlight- 
ened public opinion. The liberality of the young vicar of 
North Carolina who sat in the Vatican Council has been one of 
the most powerful factors in this state of things. 

Bishop Gibbons, at thirty-six, was naturally impressed in an 
extraordinary manner by the scenes through which he passed. 
He had been ordained but nine years before, and life was still 
fresh to him when he w^as projected in the midst of the wisdom 
and grandeur and solemnity of the greatest organization of 
the modern world. His own country and its political organi- 
zation had not a hundred years of independence behind it; in 
Rome he sat in an assembly whose deliberations represented 
the accumulated experience and weight of an institution whose 
roots were planted in the beginnings of Christianity, and whose 


development had employed a large proportion of the master 
minds of the world, from St. Peter to Constantine, and down 
through the ages. He was the youngest bishop; many pre- 
lates of venerable years sat on an equality beside him. He 
met for the first time Cardinal Manning, who was destined to 
have a great influence on his life; and he was impressed at the 
outset by the brilliant Archbishop of Westminster perhaps 
more than by any other man he met. Manning delivered the 
longest oration of the council, wliich lasted hardly more than 
an hour. His emaciated form and incessant activity moved 
Archbishop Spalding to say to him : "I know not how you can 
work so much, for you neither eat, nor drink nor sleep."* 

Of the American prelates, Archbishops Spalding and Ken- 
rick were among the most influential. Bishop Gibbons was 
surprised at the memory of Kenrick, who reclined in his seat, 
with half-closed eyes, listening to the debates, taking no notes, 
and yet, when he came to speak, reviewed with remarkable accu- 
racy what had been said by others. Archbishop McCloskey, of 
New York, destined to become, five years later, the first Ameri- 
can Cardinal, was a "silent Solon;" Archbishop Leahy, of 
Cashel, had in an eminent degree the gifts of the Irish orator, 
recalling in his eloquent Latin the glories of the Schoolmen. 
He could flavor judgment with wit in the tongue of the 
Caesars. Archbishop Darboy, of Paris, who shared the confi- 
dence and expressed the views of Napoleon III, made a deep 
impression. He had seen the assassination of two of his prede- 
cessors — Archbishops Affre and Sibour ; and in less than a year 
after the council adjourned was himself shot to death in the 
prison of La Roquette amid the ravings of the Commune. 

Bishop Dupanloup, of Orleans, was one of the Forty Im- 
mortals of the French Academy and the counsellor of Prince 
Talleyrand, whom he reconciled to the Church after a long 
estrangement. Cardinal Dechamps, Archbishop of Malines, 

• Personal Reminiscences of the Vatican Council, Cardinal Gibbons in the 
North American Review, April, 1894. 


was primate of Belgium, and his brother Adolphus was Prime 
Minister of that Kingdom. Baron Von Ketteler, Bishop of 
Mainz, was disfigured by a scar on the face received in a duel 
of student days at Goettingen. Bishop Gibbons saw the de- 
mocracy of the Church strikingly exemplified in Cardinal 
Prince Schwarzenberg, primate of Bohemia, and Cardinal Si- 
mor, primate of Hungary, the two most influential churchmen 
of the Austrian Empire. Schwarzenberg, a handsome man, of 
commanding presence, was a prince of the realm as well as of 
the Church. Simor sprang from the people, and was proud 
of declaring it. Bishop Strossmayer, of Bosnia, was reputed 
the most eloquent prelate in the council. "His periods," wrote 
Bishop Gibbons, "flamed with the g^race and majesty and musi- 
cal rhythm of Cicero." 

Cardinal Pecci, afterward Leo XIII, the most powerful 
friend of Bishop Gibbons in the career that was opening before 
him, said little in debate, but was potent and indefatigable in 
council. The young American prelate thought he could see a 
design of Providence in the fact that the man who was to 
rule the whole Church should not have been involved in the 
disputes of the council. Cardinal Pecci's learning and admin- 
istrative experience were invaluable in the vital work of the 

Every bishop knew at least two or three languages; some 
spoke ten or twelve. Cardinal Simor told Bishop Gibbons 
that he employed four different tongues in the government 
of his diocese — Latin, German, Hungarian and Slavonian. 
Next to the young American prelate sat a vicar apostolic 
from China, who used six dialects in his vicariate. A bishop 
of a Chinese diocese had traveled twenty-three thousand miles 
to attend the council. One or two blind bishops had to be 
guided by servants as they took their places in the assem- 
blage. Some of the feeblest were so exhausted by their travels 
that they died in Rome or on the way, martyrs to their obedi- 
ence to duty. 


At Trent only four English-speaking prelates sat ; at the 
Vatican Council there were more than one hundred and 
twenty. Bishop Gibbons ventured to express the opinion that 
if the next ecumenical council should be held in fifty years, "the 
representatives of the English language would equal in num- 
bers, if not surpass, those of any other tongue." He agreed 
with Cardinal Manning that "the number of prelates who ques- 
tioned the claim of papal infallibility could be counted on the 
fingers of one hand." "Yet," Bishop Gibbons added, "many of 
the speakers, indeed, impugned the domga, not because they did 
not personally accept it, but with the view of pointing out the 
difficulties with which the teacliing body of the Church would 
have to contend in vindicating it before the world. I have lis- 
tened in the council chamber to far more subtle, more plausible 
and more searching objections to this prerogative of the Pope 
than I have read or heard from the pen or tongue of the most 
learned or formidable Protestant assailant. But all the objec- 
tions were triumphantly answered. Every dispassionate reader, 
whatever may be his religious convictions, must be profoundly 
impressed, as I was at the time, with the fearless and serene 
conduct of the great majority, who, spurning a temporizing 
policy or the dictates of human prudence, were deterred neither 
by specious arguments, nor imperial threats, nor by the fear 
of schism, from promulgating what they conceived to be a truth 
contained in the deposit of Divine revelation. Since the last 
vote taken in the solemn session of July i8, 1870, all the 
bishops of Christendom, without a murmur of dissent, have 
accepted the decision as final and irrevocable." 

Such was the Vatican Council, a product of the thought, the 
labor, the spiritual inspiration of three hundred years. Father 
Hecker, who expressed the general view of American* Catho- 
lics, considered that it meant a new era, especially for the 
United States, the tendency of whose free institutions, he 
declared, was to make men Catholics. The constitution of the 
Church having been fixed in permanent form and the capstone 


applied by the definition of papal infallibility, he held that in the 
wide radius left for liberty of thought and action the fullest 
development of the individual should be sought. 

From his experience in the Olympian atmosphere of the 
Church, Bishop Gibbons returned to his task in North Caro- 
lina with a new light on the world-wide mission of the Cath- 
olic faith, which was to guide his footsteps along many a diffi- 
cult path that would open before him. 

Bishop of Richmond. 

Bishop Gibbons had labored in North CaroHna a little less 
than four years, when a new field opened for his versatile 
activity. This was the See of Richmond, Va., in which a 
vacancy was created by the death in January, 1872, of the 
beloved Bishop John McGill, who had guided the affairs of 
that diocese 22 years. The Vicar of North Carolina was now 
recognized on all sides as a coming man in the Church. His 
superiors in the hierarchy were glad to acknowledge his tal- 
ents, and his brother bishops were ready to acclaim any promo- 
tion that might come to him. He was no less popular among 
the clergy, on account of his charming personal traits. Always 
ready to help a priest, as well as a layman, he could listen well 
as they told their difficulties, and, if occasion demanded, could 
administer effective correction in a manner which the recipient 
would have difficulty in distinguishing from praise. 

Human nature seemed almost an open book to him, as to 
many other men who combine in themselves the elements of 
success. He could often form an instantaneous and accurate 
judgment of a man whom he met for the first time, and his 
almost instinctive trait of justice enabled him to modify it 
readily, as circumstances might require. His was a strong 
character, which was bound to dominate in the end, but a 
conciliatory one. Few could attain with greater ease a pur- 
pose in the face of obstacles. Those who were thrown in con- 
tact with him, in and out of the Church, formed the habit of 
following where he led ; it seemed the natural order. 

At first Bishop Gibbons was appointed administrator of the 
Richmond diocese, in addition to the duties of his vicariate, 
while time might be afforded for the prescribed procedure of 



the Church in the selection of a permanent successor to Mgr. 
McGill. The final choice of Rome fell on him, and it was 
decided that he should continue as administrator of North 
Carolina at the same time. The situation of Richmond was 
favorable to the management of both jurisdictions, and the 
energy and resourcefulness of Bishop Gibbons might be ex- 
pected to be equal to the double task. 

Here began the close interweaving of his life with that of 
another man who was to exert a marked influence on it. This 
was James Roosevelt Bayley, one of the most interesting fig- 
ures whose impress has been left on the Catholic Church in 
America. Bayley was a near connection of the Roosevelt 
family of New York, from which an American President 
afterward sprang. He was a grandson of Dr. Richard Bay- 
ley, a celebrated anatomist and a pioneer of American medi- 
cine. Born to luxury and culture, he was a society man in 
New York in his younger days. His family were of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal faith, and, his thoughts turning to the minis- 
try, he was ordained in that church, serving as rector of an 
influential congregation in Harlem. In time he became a Cath- 
olic and studied at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, in Paris. 
Archbishop Hughes, afterward famous as the head of the See 
of New York during the Civil War, ordained him. On ac- 
count of his ripe scholarship, he was made president of St. 
John's College, Fordham, N. Y. His contributions to litera- 
ture were considerable. He was serving as Bishop of New- 
ark, when a warm friendship sprang up between him and Arch- 
bishop Spalding, who looked upon him as his successor. Sev- 
eral months before Archbishop Spalding's death, it is related, 
he put his pectoral chain and cross around Bishop Bayley's 
neck and said : "One day this will be yours."* 

Bishop Bayley did not want to come to Baltimore, saying: 
"I am too old a tree to be transplanted." He refused to accept 

• Riordan, Cathedral Records, p. 85. 


the idea of the change until the papal decree had been issued. 
Archbishop Spalding died in February, 1872, and on October 
13 Bishop Bayley was invested with the pallium in the Balti- 
more Cathedral, Bishop Gibbons taking part in the ceremony. 
The next Sunday the new Archbishop installed Bishop Gibbons 
in St Peter's Cathedral, Richmond, as the head of that diocese. 

These two warm friends had been thrown intimately to- 
gether at the Vatican Council. Bayley was then 56 years old, 
Gibbons 36, and during the long months of the council, when 
Americans were participating for the first time in a general 
synod of the Church, the elder prelate learned to admire both 
the talents and the graces of the younger. Bishop Gibbons, in 
turn, was captivated by the intellectual powers, the broad and 
deep cultivation, the strong nature of Bishop Bayley; and their 
friendship continued during the two years immediately fol- 
lowing their return to America, until unexpected fate threw 
them in closer contact. Bayley's practical experience in life 
before his retirement into the semi-isolation of the Church had 
continued to be of the greatest use to him. He was a keen 
judge of the capabilities of others, and saw in his friend traits 
that would adorn the most exalted positions in the Church. 

Virginia was not fruitful soil for an increase in the har- 
vest of the Catholic faith. In that State more than any other 
lingered a trace of the atmosphere of Elizabethan England. 
On Jamestown Island, in May, 1607, Rev. Robert Hunt had 
spread a sail cloth between the boughs of trees and read the 
first service of the Church of England on American soil.* 
This remained the established church of Virginia, as much as of 
the mother country, until the Revolution. The local vestries 
were ■entrusted by law with political as well as ecclesiastical 
functions, such as the care of orphans and the poor. From 
public taxation the pay of the clergy was taken. Neither Cath- 
olics, nor persons of any other religious faith, were ever ac- 
tively persecuted in Virginia, though the anti-Catholic, anti- 

* Lyon G. Tyler, Cradle of the Republic, p. 116. 

Cardinal Gibbons as Bishop of Richmond 


Puritan and anti-Quaker feeling among the people made it un- 
pleasant at times to maintain open worship other than that of 
the English Church. 

Even after the revolution marked impressions remained, 
especially in the tidewater counties, of the ecclesiastical and 
social predominance of the English Church in colonial times ; 
it was too closely threaded in the life and institutions of the 
people to be withdrawn suddenly. Presbyterians and Luther- 
ans entered the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, and other de- 
nominations, especially Baptists and Methodists, soon outnum- 
bered the Episcopalians in the mountainous districts of the 

In North Carolina there was scarcely any immigration to 
furnish a foothold for the Catholic Church. There was little 
more in Virginia, but still enough to plant a nucleus in each of 
the larger cities, like Richmond, Petersburg and Norfolk. The 
first mass in Richmond was said by Abbe Dubois, in 1791. 
Not until 1820 was the diocese created, and the outlook was 
so unpromising that it was abolished and united with Balti- 
more two years later. In 1840 it was re-established by Bishop 
Whelan, who administered it ten years, and was succeeded by 
Bishop McGill. Bishop Gibbons was, therefore, but the fourth 
in succession, counting from Bishop Kelly, who was in charge 
during the brief period 1820-22. 

It is interesting to the student of American history to note 
that the Catholic faith and the Church of England were first 
planted on soil belonging to the English Crown, within the 
present limits of the United States, scarcely 100 miles from 
each other. Jamestown and St. Mary's are both within the 
segment of a circle of comparatively small radius whose center 
is at the mouth of the Chesapeake. In this strategic region, 
the key of America, Raleigh chose the base from which he 
would colonize the new empire; the Jamestown experiment 
succeeded, after Raleigh's head had fallen on the block; the 
Revolution was fired by the eloquence of Patrick Henry, and 


was consummated at Yorktown; the War of 1812 was settled 
by the victories of North Point and Fort McHenry; the crisis 
of the Civil War occurred; and seven Presidents of the United 
States were born. Maryland and Virginia, so closely akin in 
many things, are totally unlike in church antecedents and influ- 
ences. One has been receptive, by tradition and feeling, to the 
Catholic faith ; the other has been the opposite. In parts 
of Virginia a Catholic priest is unknown even at this day, and 
would be looked on as a curiosity should he come. 

As in North Carolina, Bishop Gibbons' field of labor in the 
Richmond diocese was among a people broken by war and 
"reconstruction." Had public opinion been less unfavorable 
to the Catholic Church, the other difficulties in the way of 
building up the diocese would still have been tremendous; to a 
man of less resolution, they would have been appalling. There 
was scarcely money enough in circulation to supply the elemen- 
tary needs of business transactions, and almost none to build 
churches, convents and schools. For four years great con- 
tending armies had struggled up and down the State. What 
escaped the seizure of the Federals, was willingly given to the 
half-starved Confederates. In the process of destroying the 
economic resources of the State, so as to prevent it from being 
made a highway for future military advances on Washington, 
crops had been laid waste, fruit trees torn up by the roots, 
horses taken for the cavalry, cattle and hogs bayonetted in the 
fields, mills and dwellings burned. 

All able-bodied men had joined the army, and the corpses of 
thousands strewed the soil as the shock of conflict passed from 
the Alleghanies to the Potomac. The sudden freeing of the 
slaves had demoralized the supply of agricultural labor. Farm- 
ers could get no seed to plant, no man to sow or reap. Piled 
on tliis base of wholesale destruction, had been the weight of 
crushing taxation imposed by the "carpet-baggers" and their 
negro allies, who were bent on extracting the last ounce of 


blood from the helpless people suddenly cast mulcr the evil 
spell of their power. 

The diocese, which embraced nearly all of Virginia and sev- 
eral counties of West Virginia, contained at the time of Bishop 
Gibbons' arrival fifteen churches, the same number of chapels 
or stations, sixteen parochial schools and seventeen priests. A 
continuance of the aggressive methods employed in the vicari- 
ate resulted in winning many converts. The same liberality of 
view that had endeared Bishop Gibbons to the people of North 
Carolina, without regard to sect, appealed with equal strength 
to the predominantly Protestant population of Virginia. The 
Bishop's sermons in Richmond, Petersburg and throughout 
the State were attended by almost as many persons of other 
beliefs as Catholics, and were largely addressed to them. He 
could gauge his auditors. If they wanted an exposition of 
Catholic doctrine as a fortification to their own faith, few could 
give it as well as he ; but, did they come to listen that they might 
disapprove, he won their attention at the outset by the presenta- 
tion of the simple truths of Christianity, and then proceeded to 
a discussion of his theme with a breadth and charity of view 
that disarmed criticism. None could be offended ; all were 
charmed. Protestants thanked him for visiting their towns, 
and Catholics looked upon him with pride. 

Early in November, 1872, he went to Lynchburg, where he 
preached and confirmed, and then proceeded to Lexington. In 
that picturesque old town, where Robert E. Lee had died but 
two years before, the bishop confirmed ten persons in the 
engine-house, where Father Murray celebrated mass, no Catho- 
lic Church having then been erected there. He performed the 
ceremony of marriage for John B. Purcell and Miss Olympia 
Williamson, in the presence of a brilliant assemblage, including 
Gen. G. W. Custis Lee, son of the Confederate chieftain, and 
prominent persons from Washington and Lee University and 
the Virginia Military Institute, where "Stonewall" Jackson had 


Returning to Richmond, he contracted for the erection of a 
schoolhouse at the corner of Ninth and Marshall streets, at a 
cost of $17,695. 

Early in 1873 he made a trip to North Carolina, preaching, 
lecturing, confirming and generally stimulating the work of the 
vicariate. At Raleigh he confirmed a class of nine, including 
the mayor and his wife, who were converts. Returning to his 
duties in Virginia, he visited Alexandria, Fairfax, Gordons- 
ville, Warrenton, Middleburg, Winchester and other places in 
Northern Virginia, where almost every foot of ground had 
been trodden by armies but a few years before and where 
memories of Washington, Madison, Monroe, Marshall and 
other pillars of the republic abounded. In a short time he had 
inspected the work in practically every church in the diocese, 
and accessions to the faith in large numbers began. 

At Culpeper, he preached in the town hall to a large con- 
gregation, most of whom were Protestants. The local judge 
adjourned court in order to enable those attending it to be pres- 
ent at the sermon. 

While on a trip to North Carolina in 1874 the bishop 
preached in the Court-House at Halifax, where he was the 
guest of Mr. Conigland. About 4.30 o'clock the next morning, 
his sleep was disturbed by the barking of dogs. This enabled 
him to hear a noise in his room, which, he soon found, was 
made by a thief searching for plunder. Calling out "who's 
there?" he received no answer. He then leaped from bed to 
attack the robber, but the latter fled, leaving at the door the 
bishop's vest, containing about $150. His cross was lying on 
the table and his watch was under the pillow, but, after a 
hasty examination, he found that nothing was missing. "It 
was fortunate," he said, in relating the incident, "that I did not 
seize the man, as he probably would have overpowered me." 

Wm. S. Caldwell, a wealthy resident of Richmond, deeded 
to the bishop a handsome residence, with Its furniture, which 


was converted into a home for the Little Sisters of the Poor.* 
Both Houses of the Legislature, under a suspension of rules, 
passed unanimously a bill incorporating the order in Virginia, 
and it was promptly signed by the Governor. In a short time a 
community of six, headed by Sister Virginia — appropriately 
called — was installed. Two years later a community of the 
Sisters of Charity was established at Petersburg. 

Bishop Gibbons was constantly called upon to answer objec- 
tions which sprang from the fact that the Protestant faiths 
were the only ones known in many of the localities he visited. 
When he returned after a time, he found the impressions pro- 
duced by his sermons weakened, and the idea of supplementing 
them by a printed treatise occurred to him. He suggested this 
one day wdiile visiting Father Gross, in Wilmington, in the 
spring of 1876, and asked him to write it. Father Gross said : 
"Bishop, why don't you wTite it?" 
Seized with an inspiration, the Bishop replied : 
"While the spirit is in me, give me paper and ink, and I will 
jot down the first chapter." 

Such was the beginning of "The Faith of Our Fathers," of 
which nearly a million copies have been sold. The labor of 
composing this book, one of the most remarkable religious 
works which has appeared in any age or language, was 
crowded into the indefatigable young Bishop's duties. He 
meditated on each successive chapter while traveling on rail- 
way cars, or by other means, and confirmed his quotations 
and references on his return. In clear, simple and classic 
English he thus wrote the principles of the Catholic religion 
and replied in detail to the arguments commonly urged against 
it. No religious controversial book had ever been conceived in 
a broader spirit. It leaves no sting with the reader, be his 
convictions what they may, and as a concise explanation of the 
Church, its history, doctrines and mission, it has never had an 
equal. One may lay it down and say "I disagree," but never 

• 1874. 


"I do not understand." Its literary strength and grace gave it 
a permanent place in the libraries of the world almost imme- 
diately after its publication, late in 1876; priests found that it 
said what they wanted to say better than they could say it 
themselves, and its circulation by the thousands has ever since 
been a favorite means of reinforcing the efforts of the clergy. 
It has been translated into twelve languages. 

The book takes up the leading doctrines of the Catholic 
Church, such as the trinity, the incarnation, unity of the 
Church, apostolicity, perpetuity, authority, the primacy of 
Peter, the supremacy of the popes, the temporal power, invo- 
cation of saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, sacred images, pur- 
gatory, prayers for the dead, charges of religious persecu- 
tion, the holy eucharist, the sacrifice of the mass, the use of 
religious ceremonies and the Latin language, penance, indul- 
gences, and extreme unction. Regarding each of these, a clear 
and simple explanation is given. Objections are frankly and 
fully cited and answered in detail. 

These doctrines, the author points out, are misunderstood by 
many Protestants ; and where it serves the purpose of his expo- 
sition he employs dialogue. The following extract is in the 
form of a conversation between a Protestant minister and a 
convert to the Catholic Church, which he cites as an illus- 
tration : 

Minister — "You can not deny that the Roman Catholic Church teaches 
gross errors — the worship of images, for instance." 

Convert — "I admit no such charges, for I have been taught no such 

Minister — "But the priest who instructed you did not teach you all. 
He held back some points which he knew would be objectionable to you." 

Convert — "He withheld nothing; for I am in possession of books 
treating thoroughly of all Catholic doctrines." 

Minister — "Deluded soul! Do you not know that in Europe they are 
taught differently?" 

Convert — "That can not be ; for the Church teaches the same creed all 
over the world, and most of the doctrinal books which I read were origi- 
nally published in Europe." 


The author particularly urged that the Church should be 
judged by her own acts and declarations, and not by those of 
her enemies. Writing in the South, he asked if it would be 
fair, in order to obtain a correct estimate of the Southern 
people, to select for his only sources of information Northern 
periodicals which during the Civil War were bitterly opposed 
to the South. He defended with particular warmth the asser- 
tion that the Catholic Church had always been the zealous pro- 
moter of religious and civil liberty. Wherever encroachments 
on these rights of man were perpetrated by individual members 
of the faith, he argued, the wrongs, far from being sanctioned 
by the Church, were committed in palpable violation of her 
authority. He took up the old arguments about the Spanish 
Inquisition and the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and dis- 
cussed them fully from the Catholic point of view. The broad 
charity which shines through the pages of the book has been, 
perhaps, as potent as its logic in carrying conviction to the 
minds of tens of thousands of readers throughout the world. 

In the five years during which Bishop Gibbons presided over 
the Richmond Diocese the number of churches increased from 
fifteen to twenty-four, with about the same number of chapels 
or stations, to which twenty-four priests ministered. The sub- 
ject of education was always close to his heart, and under his 
vigorous efforts ten new parochial schools were established. 
There was a marked development in all directions, and the 
diocese was kept practically free from debt.* 

He frequently visited Baltimore to assist Archbishop Bayley 
at ecclesiastical ceremonies, and, in fact, was identified almost 
as much with Baltimore as Richmond, the proximity of his 
diocese and his natural ties with the archiepiscopal see leading 
almost inevitably to this. The most notable of these occasions 
was the consecration May 25, 1876, of the Baltimore Cathe- 
dral,! whose corner-stone had been laid in 1806 by Bishop 

• Catholic standard, Philadelphia, October 27, 1877. Quoted by Reily, Vol. II, 
p. 113. 

t Catholic Mirror, May 27, 1876. 


Carroll, but which was not free of debt until seventy years 
later. Archbishop Bayley was the consecrator and Bishop 
Gibbons preached. 

What thoughts welled up within him as he stood In the pul- 
pit on that memorable occasion ! The superb old pile had been 
a part of his hfe, and his life had been a part of it. Within 
two hundred feet of it had been old St. Peter's Church, the 
first of the Catholic religion in Baltimore, erected about 1770 
on the north side of what is now Saratoga street, near Charles 
street, on land bought in 1764 from Charles Carroll, father of 
Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Archbishop Carroll had pon- 
tificated there, but he cherished the dream of a Cathedral and 
raised $225,000 — a great sum in those days — by collections, 
subscriptions, and even by a lottery, which accorded with the 
custom of the times. Benjamin H. Latrobe, the architect 
of the Capitol in Washington, drew the plans. The Cathedral 
is a cruciform structure, Ionic in its general outlines, but now 
capped by Russo-Byzantine towers, which predominate the 
architectural tone. The great blocks of granite for its con- 
struction were hauled from Ellicott City, ten miles distant, by 
oxen. John Eager Howard, the hero of Cowpens, gave much 
of the large lot on which it stands. The War of 181 2 stopped 
the work, and, while still unfinished, it was dedicated May 31, 
1 82 1, by Archbishop Marechal. Seven years later, Mgr. Mare- 
chal gave it a large bell, bought In his native France, and com- 
pleted one of the towers. The altar was the gift of Marseilles 
priests, whose teacher he had been. Archbishop Eccleston fin- 
ished the second tower, and Archbishops Kenrick and Spalding 
erected the noble portico, adorned with huge pillars. The 
bodies of Carroll and other archbishops find sepulture in this 
venerable church. Within its walls was held the Provincial 
Council of 1829, the first In any English-speaking country since 
the Reformation. Among the historic church edifices of 


America the Baltimore Cathedral is easily first in importance, 
though not in antiquity.* 

The consecration of the Cathedral was marked by a notable 
assemblage of prelates, clergy and laity. Bishop Gibbons, in 
his sermon, dwelt on the permanency of the Church, and then 
struck a note which was characteristic of him. 

"It is charged," he said, "that the Church will shrink from 
the light of modern invention and discovery. Ah, no! She 
will welcome them and will use them to extend the knowledge 
of God. Yes, we bless you, men of genius! If, when rail- 
roads and steam vessels and telegraphs were not known, the 
Church carried the gospel to distant nations and unexplored 
regions, how much more can she do with their aid? 

"Need it be repeated that the Church is slandered when it is 
charged that she is inimical to liberty ! The Church flourishes 
only in the beams of liberty. She has received more harm 
from the tyranny and oppression of kings and rulers than any 
other of the victims of their power. We pray for the pros- 
perity of this our young country. In this its centennial year 
we rejoice that it has lived to so sturdy a life of liberty and 
regard for right, and we raise the prayer 'Esto Perpctua.' " 

Only a little more than a year was to elapse before he would 
be preaching in this same Cathedral as Archbishop of the 
Province of Baltimore. 

During his residence in Richmond, Bishop Gibbons was not 
able to obtain the appointment of a vicar for North Carolina. 
The faithful Father Gross wrote in February, 1876 : 

"When, on the death of the bishop of Richmond, Bishop Gibbons was 
nolens volens, introduced by His Holiness Pius IX into the see of Rich- 
mond, with the title of administrator apostolic over the vicariate of 
North Carolina, it was but the change of an additional new field, bring- 
ing an increase of the same arduous duties. The change was, and still 
is, keenly felt by the people and especially by the clergy of North Caro- 
lina. But the vicariate is not forgotten, nor is it neglected. Frequent 

* Riordan, Cathedral Records, pp. 93-98. 


visits are made in the State, when the bishop lectures upon Catholic 
truths and cheers the hearts of all, laity and clergy, by his presence. 
The citizens of Wilmington, Raleigh, Charlotte, Salisbury and Fayette- 
ville frequently enjoy his strong and engaging discourses in explanation 
of Catholic doctrine. He has multiplied his help by the admission of 
priests for the missions in the work of the ministry. Every town in 
North Carolina of importance has its priests, its regular Sunday service. 
No hour of the day or night is there when Catholics may not receive the 
ministrations of their religion. If there is any regret, it comes from the 
Catholics themselves. 

"But, thank God, if the field of North Carolina has been well worked, 
the fruit has been abundant No Catholics are more fervent; no people 
are more easily won over to the faith. Of three missions, two of them 
can boast of a hundred converts each; the other of thirty. Male and 
female Catholic schools have been established. In a word, Rev. Dr. 
Gibbous found in North Carolina in 1SG8 three priests (one borrowed, 
since returned), now there are seven or eight; he found seven hundred 
Catholics, now there are sixteen hundred ; seven churches, now there are 
eleven or twelve, with a convent-academy, conducted by the Sisters of 
Mercy, and located upon a handsome piece of property purchased for 
them by the bishop. The word is still 'onward' in North Carolina. 

"An impression prevails that the Catholics could not support their 
vicar and bishop, hence his removal. They could not honor him, indeed, 
with those episcopal surroundings becoming, but not necessary to, his 
sublime office of bishop. Such wealth of catholicity North Carolina does 
not possess. The pope's vicar did not come to find and enjoy the 
becoming honors and dignity of an established diocese, but to accept and 
perform the duty of a bishop — to preach the gospel, to convert souls ; 
to accept the poverty of a vicariate, and by his apostolic labor, to make 
it rich with the wealth of Catholic faith. The field of North Carolina, 
with its poverty and trials, and sparse Catholicity, was, and is yet, nor 
too much for our vicar, nor for any one whom the Holy Father may 
judge to send. Everything has a beginning. Even the gospel of Christ 
has its seed. Others may enter into our labor and may enjoy its fruits. 
The more numerous and imperative wants of the Richmond diocese, 
widowed by the death of Rev. Dr. McGill, removed our vicar. Rather 
the spiritual poverty of the Richmond diocese caused the transfer than 
any failure in North Carolina. 

"Our vicar was removed with the promise of another ; but our bishop's 
zeal is so untiring, his charity so unselfish, that though we constantly 
regret, we feel the less his transfer. Catholicity is still advancing in 


North Carolina, and rapidly, though our vicar's undivided efforts would, 
of course, produce still greater results."* 

When Archbishop AlcCloskey was elevated to the Sacred 
College in 1875, the young bishop's thoughts were far from 
associating his own career with that honor. Nevertheless, it 
is interesting to note that he viewed it in much the same light 
as his own appointment afterward impressed him — an honor 
to his country, and to its non-Catholic as well as Catholic peo- 
ple. He thus expressed himself : 

"The hierarchy of the United States will rejoice to hear that this 
eminent dignity has been conferred on an American prelate, who has 
endeared himself to the church by his long service In the cause of 
religion, his marked ability, his unostentatious piety and great suavity 
of manners. I am persuaded also that not only the Catholic body of 
this country, but our citizens at large, will receive, with just pride, the 
intelligence that the Holy Father has determined to associate an Ameri- 
can Archbishop with the members of the Sacred College. There is no 
doubt that the venerable Archbishop of New York will fill with marked 
discretion and wisdom that exalted and responsible position."! 

The Bishop's farewell sermon to the people of his diocese in 
St. Peter's Cathedral, October 14, 1877, was marked by char- 
acteristic modesty. Though he had done so much for them, 
he gave the human credit to his predecessor. Bishop McGill. 

"Ever since I took charge of this portion of the Lord's vine- 
yard," he said, "God has singularly blessed us. To Him be all 
the honor and glory. Every other cause of success is secon- 
dary to Him. Paul soweth, Apollo watereth, but God giveth 
the increase. Without Him, we would have made no progress. 
We would have fished all night, like Peter, and caught nothing. 
Next to God, you are indebted to my venerable and illustrious 
predecessor, who left the diocese in a solvent and healthy con- 
dition. He was a man of eminent prudence and discretion, 
and of caution verging on timidity. He might have gained 

* Letter to the Southern Cross, February 9, 1876. Quoted by Reily, Vol. II, 
p. 106 et seq. 

t New York Herald, March 14, 1875. 


for himself a great name for enterprise and material progress 
by erecting churches and other institutions throughout the 
diocese, without regard to expense. But with all that, he 
might have bequeathed to his successor a load of debt which 
would have paralyzed his usefulness and crushed his heart. 
He left me few debts to pay and few scandals to heal. He left 
a diocese without incumbrance and a character without re- 
proach. It was fortunate for this diocese that Bishop McGill 
presided over its destinies for upwards of twenty years, for he 
stamped his character upon the older clergy, who had the hap- 
piness of observing his edifying life and of being associated 
with him in the ministry. 

"It is very gratifying to me, though this is the first occasion 
I have done so, to speak in terms of praise of the clergy of this 
diocese; other priests, indeed, I have met who have a greater 
reputation for learning and the graces of oratory, but, taken 
as a body, I have never met any priests to surpass those of 
this diocese in attachment to duty, in singleness of purpose, 
in personal virtue and obedience to the voice of authority. 
And if I be permitted to single out some of the clergy from 
among their colleagues, surely I can point with peculiar joy 
to the Cathedral clergy, who have lived with me as mem- 
bers of the same household, and who have always deported 
themselves in a manner becoming their sacred calling. 
* * * If I could lift the veil and reveal to you their do- 
mestic life, I could disclose to you a spirit of order, peace and 
brotherly concord which I hope to see imitated, but dare not 
hope to see surpassed. 

"As for you, brethren of the laity, you can bear me witness 
that I never indulged you by vain flattery, but that I have al- 
ways endeavored to propose to you your duty, no matter how 
distasteful it might have been to flesh and blood. But on the 
present occasion I would be doing violence to my own feelings 
if I did not express my deep sense of admiration for the piety 
of many of you, which edified me; for the obedience of all of 


you, which consoled me, and for your spirit of generosity, 
which strengthened my hands. I have never had occasion to 
rebuke you for any factious opposition, still less for any mani- 
festation of a rebellious spirit, and I have always found you 
ready with heart and hand to second any effort I proposed 
for the advancement of religion. * * * 

"I cannot without regret depart from a city to which I am 
bound by so many attachments, and from a people who have 
always manifested so much kindness toward me. I ask your 
prayers all the time. I do not ask you to pray that I may have 
a long life — that is immaterial — but pray that God may give 
light to my understanding, strength to my heart and rectitude 
to my will, in order to fulfill well the duties that may devolve 
upon me. I pray that God may send you a bishop according to 
His own heart — a man of zeal and mercy, who will cause 
virtue and religion and faith to flourish and bear fruit through- 
out the length of the diocese."* 

His fellow-citizens of Richmond, without distinction of re- 
ligious belief, viewed his departure with regret. Many testi- 
monials of esteem brightened his last days in the diocese. On 
October i6, the clergy of the diocese dined with him, having 
come from their respective homes to say good-bye. After din- 
ner, through Father O'Keefe, they presented him a beautiful 
chalice. The paten and cup were of solid gold ; the other parts 
of silver gilt. 

* CathoUo Mirror, October 20, 1877. 


Archbishop of Baltimore. 

Archbishop Bayley had presided over the See of Baltimore 
but a few years, when his health began to fail, and he sought 
the appointment of a coadjutor. The eyes of the people of 
the diocese, no less than the discriminating vision of the Arch- 
bishop himself, turned to the Bishop of Richmond. In Balti- 
more he had been born and baptized ; studied for the ministry 
and been ordained; served as parish priest of St. Bridget's and 
as assistant at the Cathedral ; and while in North Carolina and 
Virginia he had returned at times to aid the archbishops and 
share the labors of the clergy, who looked upon him both as a 
friend and a natural leader. 

Archbishop Bayley wrote in his diary March 24, 1876: 

"Two years ago the doctor advised me to obtain the assistance of a 
coadjutor. My health troubles me so much I find it difficult to attend 
to my duties. Today I wrote to his Eminence, Cardinal McCloskey, 
Archbishops Purcell, Kenrick, Wood and Williams, asking them to assist 
me in obtaining as my coadjutor cum jure successionis the bishop of 

The time was ripe for the decisive change in Bishop Gibbons' 
career. In May, 1877, he was appointed titular Archbishop of 
Janopolis and coadjutor to the incumbent of the See of Balti- 
more, with the right of succession ; and when that prelate died 
at Newark, October 3 of the same year, he succeeded to the 
exalted post at once. The funeral of Archbishop Bayley in the 
Cathedral, October 9, was marked by many tributes by clergy 

• Rpv. M. J. Riordan, In Volume II, The Catholic Church in the United States 
of America, p. 31. 


and people to the work of this remarkable man. Cardinal Mc- 
Closkey, of New York, who had been raised to the Sacred Col- 
lege two years before; Archbishop Wood, of Philadelphia; 
Archbishop Gibbons, and many bishops and priests were pres- 
ent at the solemn and beautiful services. Bishop Thomas Foley, 
of Chicago, delivered the funeral discourse, recalling the emi- 
nent contributions which Bayley had made to the progress of 
the Catholic Church and the spiritual welfare of the American 
people. The Archbishop had asked that when his labors were 
over, his body should rest near the grave of his aunt, Mother 
Seton, who introduced the Sisters of Charity into the United 
States. It was taken to Emmitsburg, Md., and lowered into 
the vault beside all that was mortal of that saintly woman.* 

Archbishop Gibbons received with characteristic spirit the 
new and great honor which had come to him. When he first 
learned of his elevation, he exclaimed : 

"Thy will be done. In Thy hand is my fate !" 
The death of Pius IX caused him to hesitate about proceed- 
ing with the ceremonies of receiving the pallium, but Cardinal 
McCloskey and other prelates and clergy advised him not to 
postpone the event too long. This historic mark of his new rank 
was placed upon his shoulders February lo by Bishop Lynch, 
of Charleston, in the Cathedral. The procession from the 
archiepiscopal residence to the church embraced a distinguished 
gathering of the hierarchy, many of them in the prime of life, 
fruitful in their work for the harvest of souls, but scarcely 
any of whom lived to see the full outlines of the career of 
the man whom they had assembled to honor. Following the 
picturesque seminarians of St. Mary's, came Bishops Moore, 
of St. Augustine; Spalding, of Peoria, then full of his great 
project of founding a Catholic university; Kain, of Wheeling, 
afterward Archbishop of St. Louis; Corrigan, of Newark, 
destined to succeed to the see presided over by the venerable 
McCloskey, and to measure his strength against Archbishop 

• Rlordan, Cathedral Records, p. 85. 


Gibbons in many a controversy regarding the vital problems 
of the American Church; Gross, of Savannah, soon to be 
Archbishop of Oregon; Foley, of Chicago, close friend from 
early days of the new Archbishop; Becker, of Wilmington, 
Del., also bound to him by ties of intimacy; Shannahan, of 
Harrisburg; Fitzgerald, of Little Rock, staunch opponent to 
the last of the decree of papal infallibility passed by the Vati- 
can Council; Loughlin, of Brooklyn, venerable and beloved; 
Archbishop Williams, of Boston, strong upholder of the hands 
of Archbishop Gibbons on many a trying occasion ; and, lastly, 
the new Archbishop, attended by two of his closest friends. 
Rev. Dwight E. Lyman, of Govanstown, Baltimore county, 
•and Rev. Michael Dausch, of St. Vincent's Church, Baltimore. 
As the mass was beginning. Bishop Conroy, of Ardagh, Apos- 
tolic Delegate of the Holy See to Canada, entered the Cathe- 
dral and took a seat of honor opposite Archbishop Gibbons. 

Such an eminent gathering of leaders of the Catholic faith 
in the old Cathedral could not fail to be inspired by its sur- 
roundings. Bishop Lynch, in his discourse, was moved to re- 
hearse in outline what this Church, assembled in the plentitude 
of her power, had done for society, truth, virtue, and science. 
He recalled that men still lived who could remember when Car- 
roll was the only American archbishop, while his successor 
could now count ten other archbishops and sixty bishops, whose 
authority stretched from ocean to ocean. Never, he said, had 
the Church in America been stronger, truer in the faith, or 
more united for aggressive work in pursuit of her great mis- 
sion. Men were needed to control, like safe and devoted 
pilots, the progress of this vast undertaking, and it was a 
cause of congratulation that Baltimore had an archbishop who 
had already given promise of being a worthy successor of the 
eminent prelates who had gone before. He would not congratu- 
late the new Archbishop, for those who had worn the mitre 
knew that he needed sympathy more than congratulation. 
Referring to the fact that he was placing upon Archbishop 


Gibbons the last pallium bestowed by Pius IX, he paid an 
eloquent tribute to the fruitful labors of that pontiff. 

As Archbishop Gibbons rose to reply, he gazed, not like a 
stranger sent into a new field, upon the faces of strangers ; not, 
as in Wilmington and Richmond, upon men and women who 
had scarcely heard of him before, but upon a notable congre- 
gation of the leading people of Baltimore, whom for years he 
had counted as his friends. Here, at last, he was at home. 
Here, in this venerable church, was the greatest work of his 
life to find expression. 

"The See of Baltimore," he said, replying to Bishop Lynch, 
"is, indeed, replete with historical interest, whether we con- 
sider its venerable antiquity, as far as that term can be applied 
to a nation as young as ours, or whether we consider the 
illustrious line of prelates who have presided over its destinies. 
The morning of Bishop Carroll's consecration, in 1790, brings 
us back to the dawn of our American history, which followed 
the dark and eventful night of our American Revolution. 
Washington then occupied the Presidential chair. The elder 
Adams, Jefferson and Madison were still in the full vigor 
of active political life; the United States as then constituted 
had a population short of four millions ; the city of Baltimore, 
which now rejoices in its hundreds of thousands of souls, had 
only 13,500; while the Catholic population of the United States 
at that time may be estimated at twenty-five thousand souls, or 
less than one-fourth of the present Catholic population of 

"But if this See of Baltimore is venerable for its antiquity, 
it is still more conspicuous for that bright constellation of 
prelates who diffused their light over the American Church, 
as well as over this diocese. It is not necessary that I should 
enlarge upon the greatness of these eminent men ; for many of 
them were personally known to yourselves by familiar ac- 
quaintance. All are known to you by splendid reputations, 


their names are cherished as household words in your famiHes, 
and their bright example is held up to the admiration and emu- 
lation of your children. 

"Otherwise, I might speak of Bishop Carroll, who possessed 
the virtues of a Christian priest, with the patriotism of an 
American citizen; I might speak of a Neale, 'whose life was 
hidden with Christ in God ;' of a Marechal, who united in his 
person the refined manners of a French gentleman with the 
sturdy virtues of a pioneer prelate; of a Whitfield, who ex- 
pended a fortune in the promotion of piety and devotion; of 
the accomplished Eccleston, who presided with equal grace 
and dignity in the professor's chair, on this throne, and at the 
Council of Bishops; of a Kenrick, whose praise is in the 
churches — he has not only adorned this see by his virtues, but 
also, I might say, illuminated all Christendom by his vast learn- 
ing. I might speak of a Spalding, whose paternal face is to 
this day stamped upon your memories and affections, whose 
paternal rule I myself had the privilege of experiencing, whose 
very name does not fail, even at this day, to evoke feelings of 
heartfelt emotion; of a Bayley, I can simply say that those 
who knew him best, loved him most. His was a soul of honor. 
He never hesitated to make any sacrifice when God's honor and 
his own conscience demanded." 

The Archbishop alluded modestly to the alarm he felt when 
called to this important see ; the fear with which he had taken 
up the lines, fallen from the hands of the illustrious man who 
had preceded him, and the sense he possessed of his own un- 
worthiness. It would be, he said, a presumption on his part to 
hope to emulate these illustrious prelates, but he would make it 
the study of his life to copy their virtues, however imperfectly. 
If he was discouraged by the sense of the weight of the obliga- 
tions resting upon him, he had also, thanks to God, great 
grounds of hope and confidence, and this confidence was in 
the clergy of the diocese. He could say of them, as he had said 


of the priests of Richmond, that they enjoyed an honored repu- 
tation among the clergy of the country. 

In praising them, he would be doing violence to his own feel- 
ings and to his sense of justice, if he did not speak in commen- 
dation of that venerable institution, to which most of them 
owed their theological training and were so deeply indebted — 
St. Mary's Seminary, the fruitful mother of priests and bish- 
ops. The introduction of the Sulpician Fathers to the dio- 
cese had been almost coeval with the creation of the diocese 
itself. If the departed prelates to whom he had alluded were 
honored in public life, the names of a Nagot, a Tessier, a 
Deluol and others were not less revered. It would be difficult 
to say whether religion was more indebted to the active min- 
istry of the former or the private, unpretentious labors of the 

He expressed his confidence in the religious orders with 
which the diocese abounded, from the Society of Jesus — the 
glorious pioneers of the Cross in this region — down to the last 
society founded. Different in their founders, in their dress 
and in their rules, they were all happily guided by the same 
spirit — one faith and one God. "There are diversities of graces, 
but the same spirit; diversities of ministries, but the same 
Lord; diversities of operation, but the same God, who worketh 
all in all." He wished to say that he confided in his brethren 
of the regular and secular clergy. He had unbounded confi- 
dence in their wisdom, devotion, learning, piety, zeal and 
hearty co-operation. United as a band of brothers, they were 
invincible. They would labor together in promoting the king- 
dom of Jesus Christ, in vindicating the claims of the Apostolic 
See, and in fostering faith, charity, religion, piety and pure 
patriotism, which would flourish still more in the favored State 
of Maryland, "the land of the sanctuary and the asylum of civil 
and religious liberty." 


In conclusion, the new Archbishop asked his hearers to pray 
for the illustrious pontiff whose soul had just been released 
from the bonds of earth.* 

Non-Catholics as well as Catholics applauded the selection of 
Archbishop Gibbons; all Baltimore seemed to look on it as a 
compliment. He was the first native of the city to fill that 
exalted office, so interwoven with the birth of religious liberty 
and of the Catholic faith and hierarchy among English-speak- 
ing people on this Continent. 

He was but forty-three years old, the youngest of the arch- 
bishops, when he thus became the primate of the American 
Church. With Rev. William E. Starr as chancellor, and Rev, 
Alfred A. Curtis, afterward Bishop of Wilmington, as secre- 
tary, he began the work of the diocese with aggressive activity. 
The pioneer days of North Carolina were but a memory now. 
His task was to strengthen the foundations of the Church in 
the oldest diocese of America; to multiply its efforts in the city 
where it had found its most congenial home. At once he be- 
came a leading figure in the community, apart from his eccle- 
siastical office. It had not been the fashion for Catholic arch- 
bishops, nor, indeed, for prelates of any other faith, to take 
part in the complex activities of life in a modern American city. 
They had rather sought the seclusion of study, and had re- 
garded the sharp boundary of ecclesiastical duty as one beyond 
which they ought not to trespass. Mingling with the world 
had seemed to them to be contamination or a compromise with 
the material life. 

Not so with Archbishop Gibbons. He was among and of 
the people. His predecessors in the see had hardly been 
known to Protestants. He became so well known that in 
a short time he was as familiar to them and, perhaps, as much 
beloved by them, as by Catholics. It is related of him that on 
one occasion, when passing through the streets with a visitor. 

Catholic Mirror, February 16, 1878. 


they came to the door of a beautiful church, from which a large 
congregation was beginning to emerge. Archbishop Gibbons 
was saluted so often, and gave so many salutes in return, that 
his companion was moved to remark : 

"You seem to be well acquainted in this parish?" 
"Ah!" he replied, "these are our Episcopalian friends!" 
He felt from the beginning that the slight trace of distrust 
of the Catholic Church and hierarchy which was felt by cer- 
tain elements of the people was due, in large part, to a lack 
of understanding. One of his great purposes was to remove 
this cloud, to bring the Church out into the brilHant light of 
public observation among Americans, that all might see her 
mission and the mission of her priesthood as being a spiritual 
one. He yielded to none in his devotion to American institu- 
tions and the Government of the United States, and he felt 
that the influence of the Church was for the perpetuity of law 
and order and constituted authority. A student of history and 
an intense admirer of those grand figures in American life 
who had erected a magnificent nation where once the Indian 
had roamed through the forest or pushed his canoe along the 
stream, he was fond of recalling that Catholics had been among 
the most devoted pioneers who had helped to make the nation 
what it is. 

In his own Maryland the faith which he held had been in- 
separably interwoven with the birth of the English province 
on the banks of the Potomac and the Chesapeake. Jesuits, 
penetrating the wilderness from St. Mary's, had borne aloft 
the Cross to light the pathway of civilization. Westward, 
along the Ohio and the Mississippi, down to the Gulf, near the 
shores of which part of his youth had been spent, these conse- 
crated men of God had left enduring memorials of their sac- 
rifices in the early days. In the Revolution, Catholics had been 
eminent in the halls of statesmanship and on the field of battle. 
None craved more than they the full freedom of religion, the 
"government of the people, by the people and for the people," 


which, under Washington, had been won for the fringe of 
struggHng colonies planted by adventurous Englishmen. They 
had felt more than Protestants the whip of oppression, the 
shackles of alien government. Almost simultaneously with the 
new nation, had come the consecration of Carroll, to found in 
free atmosphere at last the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 
This Church had grown and prospered as the nation had be- 
come stronger. In every war and every time of stress its mem- 
bers had been one with their Protestant brethren in their ex- 
amples of patriotism and devotion to the common country. 

Still, in Baltimore as elsewhere, there was no denying that 
a trace of distrust remained. It had been too deep-seated a 
feeling to be erased in less than a century. The keynote of 
Archbishop Gibbons' attitude was liberality. As a churchman, 
none was more devoted to his Church; as an American, none 
was more devoted to America. 

The month in which he received the pallium was marked also 
by the elevation to the papacy of Leo XIII, with whose career 
his own was to be so closely linked. These two men of ad- 
vanced and liberal ideas, each a Catholic of Catholics and at 
the same time breathing the atmosphere of the times, alert, 
progressive, knowing how to "take occasion by the hand," 
labored concurrently in the most important periods of their 
lives. With a less sympathetic pontiff, the work of Gibbons 
would have been impossible; and Leo did not hesitate to say 
again and again that the encouragement and active help which 
he received from the Archbishop of Baltimore formed one of 
the potent influences that sustained him amid the hostility and 
misunderstanding with which he was often beset. 

The bishop's former post at Richmond was filled by the ele- 
vation of the gifted and pious Dr. John J. Keane, then assist- 
ant pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Washington, to the bish- 
opric. On the advice of the Archbishop, Rev. Mark S. Gross, 
his companion of other days in North Carolina, was appointed 
vicar apostolic there, but on account of ill health and dread 

VISIT TO ROME IN 1880. 87 

of the responsibility, resigned at a meeting of the bishops of 
the province held in Baltimore November 24, 1880. Bishop 
Keane made a characteristic proposal to take up the work of 
the vicariate if the Holy See would release him from the Bish- 
opric of Richmond, but this magnanimous offer was not 

Bishop Keane continued for some years to perform the du- 
ties of both the bishopric and the vicariate, as Bishop Gibbons 
had done before him. The vicariate was finally filled by the 
appointment of Rev. H. P. Northrop, who had long labored 
as a priest in the field. Archbishop Gibbons consecrated him 
in the Baltimore Cathedral January 8, 1882, and installed him 
a week later in St. Thomas' Church, Wilmington. 

Catholic bishops being required to go to Rome every ten 
years, unless excused by the Pope, Archbishop Gibbons made 
a visit ad liniina in 1880. It was his first trip to the Eternal 
City since the Vatican Council, and his first meeting with Leo 
XIII as pontiff. Before his departure the clergy of the dio- 
cese, as a mark of their affection, presented $1,000 to him as a 
contribution toward his traveling expenses. 

He spent 23 days in Rome, and had two "delightful audi- 
ences" (thus he wrote) with Leo XIII, besides several confer- 
ences with Cardinals Simeoni and Nina, upon whom largely 
fell the detailed oversight of American afTairs. Returning, 
he stopped at Innspruck to witness the Passion Play; and in 
England visited Lulworth Castle, where Bishop Carroll had 
been consecrated. On his birthday, July 23, he met at the 
famous oratory of Edgbaston, near Birmingham, Cardinal 
Newman, upon whose wonderful life work the capstone of 
ecclesiastical approval — elevation to the Sacred College — had 
been placed a year before. He breakfasted as Newman's guest 
and was charmed with the brilliant conversation of that great 
English churchman, who presented to him several books bear- 
ing the autograph of the giver. The archbishop afterward 


spent a month in Ireland, and sailed from Queenstown Au- 
gust 25. 

When he returned to Baltimore he found the city in a flut- 
ter of festal preparation for the observance of its one hundred 
and fiftieth anniversary, and he joined with hearty accord in 
the plans. He issued a circular to the clergy of the city, 
which he directed to be read at the masses on Sunday, October 
10, of that year, advising that Catholic organizations should 
take an active part in the parades and other festivities, and 
that the clergy and the authorities of the parochial schools 
should march with them. At the same time, he exhorted the 
people to "avoid all sinful excess" during the celebration. A 
Te Deum was sung in the Catholic churches of Baltimore the 
following Sunday. Leading men of the city, who organized 
this celebration, never ceased to remember with gratitude the 
active and cordial help of the public-spirited Archbishop. 

In common with all Americans, Archbishop Gibbons felt 
the shock when President Garfield was shot and fatally 
wounded by an assassin July 2, 1881. He promptly issued 
a circular letter to the clergy of the diocese, expressing his hor- 
ror at the deed and directing prayer for the President's recov- 
ery. The following extracts show the tone of the circular : 

"It is scarcely possible to imagine a deed more appalling to men or 
more iniquitous before God. For if it is such a crime to slay even a 
private citizen, what an enormity is it to attempt the death of one who, 
while representing the whole nation, is also as to matters temporal, the 
highest vice-gerent of God Himself in the land? * * « And our 
detestation of the wretch who has stricken down our head is yet more 
increased when we add to the official dignity of the sufferer his accessi- 
bility and affability to all and his committing, like all his predecessors, 
his personal safety entirely to the good will and good sense of those over 
whom he presides. * * * In the face, then, of this most hideous deed 
we are called upon to express at once our loathing of the crime and our 
deep sympathy with him whom this crime has placed in such great suffer- 
ing and such Imminent peril, 

"For while the Catholic Church is happily above all parties and is far 
from the wish to take to herself the decision of the very transient, and 


as a rule not very momentous questions as to which these parties are 
at issue, yet none more than the Catholic Church inculcates respect for 
every duly constituted authority or more reprobates or threatens every 
thing by which such authority is assailed."* 

The Archbishop sent a copy of his circular to Mrs. Garfield, 
with a letter of sympathy, for which she returned her grateful 
acknowledgments. When the president was informed of it, 
he exclaimed : "Bless the good will of the people." The Arch- 
bishop sent to Cardinal Simeoni an account of the attempted 
assassination, which occurred in his diocese. 

After the death of Mr. Garfield, several months later, the 
Archbishop preached at the Cathedral, and took occasion to 
answer the doubts of the efficacy of prayer which had been 
raised in the minds of some by the fatal ending of the Presi- 
dent's illness, despite the united petitions of the nation. He 
pointed out that "God answers our prayer in one of two ways, 
either directly or indirectly. Sometimes He grants us the di- 
rect and specified objects of our petitions; sometimes He de- 
nies us the direct object of our prayer, but grants us some- 
thing equivalent or even better than we ask for. * * * 
In regard to the President: If God, in response to our prayers, 
did not save his life. He has done more — He has saved the life 
and preserved the peace of the nation. And the life of the 
nation is of more value than the life of any individual." 

In addition, the Archbishop said God had been pleased to 
prolong the President's life until the popular excitement had 
subsided, saving the country from unknown dangers. He 
found in the subduing of party spirit and the increased respect 
for the Chief Magistracy of the nation additional cause for 

In the autumn of the same year he issued what was, perhaps, 
the first official direction by a prelate of the Catholic Church in 
conformity with the national observance of Thanksgiving Day. 

• Cathedral Archives. 

t Catholic Mirror. October 8. 1881. 


After citing in a circular to clergy and laity the admonition of 
St. Paul, that "prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be 
made for kings and for all that are in high station," he con- 
tinued : 

"Surely it behooves us to pray with alacrity for the continued prosperity 
of our beloved country when we recall to mind the many advantages we 
enjoy as Christians and citizens under our system of government, which 
constantly holds over us the aegis of its protection. We should pray for all 
our public functionaries, both State and national, that they may dis- 
charge the important trusts confided to them with a due and conscientious 
regard for the interests of the people. We should also give thanlis to 
the 'Giver of all good gifts,' not only for the spiritual blessings we have 
received at His hands, but also for the public peace and domestic tran- 
quillity we enjoy and for the abundant harvests with which the land has 
been generally favored. * * * A fitting occasion will be presented to 
us for offering to God the homage of our adoration and gratitude on 
Thursday, November 24, a day especially recommended for public and 
national thanlvsgiving by the Chief Magistrate of the nation." • 

The Archbishop was deeply affected by the death, in 1 88 1, of 
Thomas C. Jenkins, the oldest pewholder of the Cathedral 
and the oldest member of its board of trustees, a scion of a 
family distinguished for generations by good works in the 
support of the Church no less than in the temporal activities of 
the community. Ten years later he consecrated the beautiful 
new church of Corpus Christi (Jenkins Memorial), built by 
the munificence of the children of this good man, who remained 
among his strongest props in the diocese. One of them, 
Michael Jenkins, was created a Knight of St. Gregory by a 
succeeding Pontiff.f 

The Archbishop's mother, whom he had often visited in her 
declining years, and the struggles of whose untimely widow- 
hood he vividly remembered, died at the home of his sister, 
Mrs. George Swarbrick, in New Orleans, May 7, 1883, at the 
age of eighty years. He continued to visit New Orleans at 

• Cathedral Archives. 
t Plus X, 1903. 


intervals as the guest of his brother, John T. Gibbons, who had 
become a wealthy grain merchant. 

The uncertainty of human events was strikingly illustrated 
by an experience of the Archbishop March 4, 1885, when 
Washington was resounding with the acclamations of a multi- 
tude assembled at the inauguration of President Cleveland, 
following the exciting campaign in which Mr. Blaine had been 
defeated. On that day he was in the sanctuary of the Cathe- 
dral taking part in the funeral of Mrs. Walker, sister of Mr. 
Blaine. The defeated candidate for the presidency came from 
Washington to attend the obsequies, while his late rival was 
being elevated to the office to which both had aspired. 

In the same month the Archbishop paid his first visit to Mr. 
Cleveland in the White House, remaining half an hour. The 
President urged him to renew his visits from time to time. 
This was the beginning of a warm friendship, which con- 
tinued during the life of Mr. Cleveland. He was a Presby- 
terian, but, like the Archbishop, was singularly free from 
prejudice regarding religion and was accustomed to "render to 
Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God, the things that 
are God's." On not a few occasions he leaned on the Arch- 
bishop's advice at critical periods of his career. Once, when 
the Baltimore prelate was visiting him in 1887, he remarked : 

"Would you care to have me read to you my forthcoming 
message on the tariff?" 

"I shall be much honored," was the reply. 

The President then submitted to the judgment of his ecclesi- 
astical friend, word by word, the famous message to Congress 
which cost him re-election in 1888, but brought about his 
triumph at the polls four years later. The Archbishop com- 
mended its frankness and statesmanlike character, but ex- 
pressed doubt as to how it would be received by the public. 
History soon justified his viewpoint. 


On another occasion great pressure was brought to bear on 
Mr. Cleveland to appoint a certain priest as chaplain in the 
Government service. This clergyman did not enjoy the con- 
fidence of his spiritual shepherd, the Archbishop of Baltimore, 
who declined to recommend him to Mr. Cleveland, though fre- 
quently importuned to do so. Without the Archbishop's 
sanction, the President positively refused to make the ap- 
pointment. Threats were resorted to, and it was intimated 
that if Mr. Cleveland and the Archbishop did not recede from 
their attitude, they would be pictured in the pages of Puck. 
This showed a serious misjudgment of the characters of these 
two men, for both were so constituted that threats would only 
make them more fixed in any position they had assumed on a 
question of right and wrong. The clergyman was not ap- 

Mr. Cleveland frequently referred to his friend as one of the 
best types of the American citizen, and on meeting Balti- 
moreans was in the habit of saying : 

"From Baltimore? Oh, that is Cardinal Gibbons' city! 
There are some men in Baltimore whom I particularly admire> 
and none more than the Cardinal !" 

The anarchist riots in Chicago, May 4, 1886, profoundly 
moved the Archbishop with a sense of danger to the country. 
Preaching five days later at the dedication of the Church of the 
Holy Cross, Baltimore, a large number of whose members were 
of German birth, he declared that foreigners coming to these 
shores were generally an admirable addition to the population, 
but he denounced anarchism, socialism and nihilism. He said : 

•'They (the Chicago anarchists) have no conception of true liberty. 
They would retain for themselves the lion's share of freedom, leaving 
to others only a morsel. The citizens of the United States enjoy the 
amplest liberty, but it is a liberty of law, of order and of authority. 
Liberty without law degenerates into license." 

Soon the Archbishop and future Cardinal came to be as 
much identified with Baltimore as Pericles with Athens. On 


the streets of the city his slender, graceful form, in somber 
black, relieved by a touch of purple, became familiar to passers- 
by as he took long walks, swinging a cane and chatting in ani- 
mated fashion with a clerical companion. In gatherings re- 
lating to the interests of the city or State, his aid was sought 
and freely given. He sat on public platforms with Methodists, 
Jews and Quakers. None spoke with more sincere patriotism, 
more progressive spirit. Governor and Mayor regarded him 
as friend. 

On a social occasion he could be charming. When Balti- 
moreans have some particularly important business to transact, 
it is their custom to have a banquet. It is characteristic of 
them that some of their greatest inspirations to public achieve- 
ment are born amid the gastronomic delights of the diamond- 
back terrapin and the canvass-back duck. It grew to be a 
familiar spectacle to see the Archbishop at the banquet board, 
in the place of honor, at the right of the presiding officer. He 
seldom remained to the end, and took no part in the purely 
convivial aspect of the gathering. When he spoke, it was as 
a patriot no less than a preacher. His habit of gracefully 
fitting into his surroundings was nowhere more conspicuous 
than at the social board. He opened conventions with prayer, 
and reviewed parades from his bay-window. 

His sermons in the Cathedral became one of the attractions 
of the city. Non-Catholics as well as Catholics crowded the 
spacious pews and aisles to hear him. Rarely he preached on 
a controversial theme; never with a sensationalism designed to 
attract the unthinking. He felt that the Gospel itself was 
strong enough to draw men, if it could be presented to them 
with clearness and simplicity. He made no compromise with 
truth. He palliated no sin because of the mightiness or the 
lowliness of those who practiced it. He could unsparingly 
condemn a grievous fault. He sustained his viewpoint from 


that of the apostles, and often Protestants found more spiritual 
sustenance in his discourses than in those of their own pastors. 

In his visits to churches he made many converts. His 
whole attitude was a powerful appeal to Protestants. On an 
extremely hot Sunday in midsummer, while in Southern Mary- 
land, he asked the priest accompanying him to preach. At the 
conclusion of the sermon, when the priest descended from 
the pulpit, almost exhausted by a vigorous discourse on the 
doctrine of absolution, he was surprised to see the Archbishop 
ascend the steps and preach again, but on a very different 
topic — one which appealed alike to persons of all creeds. 

"I thought you asked me to preach?" exclaimed the aston- 
ished clergyman, when the congregation had been dismissed. 

"Did you not see," replied the Archbishop, with one of his 
characteristic smiles, "that more than half the congregation 
were Protestants?" 

His labors were incessant. Men of the most robust physique 
could hardly keep up with him. His health as he reached 
the noon of vigorous manhood showed much improvement, 
but his digestion remamed weak, and at times he appeared 
almost emaciated. On one occasion it was said of him that his 
frame seemed barely substantial enough to hold the soul within. 
Regularity of habit, prudence in diet, a characteristic optimism, 
avoidance of the American sin of worry, and his habit of tak- 
ing daily a long and vigorous walk sustained him in his most 
arduous activities. 

Amid all the burdens which fell upon him, he practiced his 
devotions, which occupied several hours every day, with unfail- 
ing regularity. He was up at six o'clock every morning. Soon 
afterward he said mass, and, after a light breakfast, was alert 
for the business of the day. Callers were numerous. Some 
came for religious consolation; others, for advice; still others, 
to solicit alms, to invite his participation in public projects, to 


urge his presence in churches. He denied himself to none. 
He could turn from one to another with complete ease, as if 
the last visitor were the first whom he had seen. The breadth 
of his character and observation, together with the ready social 
faculty which seemed to be instinct with him, gave him the 
power of meeting almost all persons on a footing of con- 

His purse at this time was not over full. Though he was 
beginning to receive a considerable revenue from royalties on 
'The Faith of Our Fathers," this went almost as quickly as it 
came. He helped students with contributions, assisted the 
poor, subscribed to worthy undertakings, was a patron of liter- 
ature and art. It was said of him that he was, perhaps, the 
easiest man in Baltimore from whom to get a response to an 
appeal for aid. With all his keen discrimination of character 
and his power of reading men, kindness of heart predominated 
in his impulses. His marvelous memory for names and faces, 
and his extraordinary acquaintance contributed greatly to swell 
the number of his visitors. He could identify children by 
their resemblance to their parents, and couples whom he had 
married were his friends forever. 

Distinguished foreigners, visiting America for purposes of 
observation, made a practice of coming to Baltimore to call at 
the house of the Archbishop, the primate of the American 
Church. He could often speak to them in their own tongues. 
Not a few of them conveyed their impressions of him in the 
books which they subsequently wrote. 

At his front door was usually an usher, who received the cards 
of visitors and escorted them to one of the reception rooms on 
the main floor of his residence. Often he was kept busy going 
from one room to another, and it seemed almost like a public 
reception. In a respite he would ascend the stairs to his study, 
where he would write or dictate ; but at the next call he would 
descend again, with patience unruffled and a cheerful cordiality 
which made the last visitor feel thoroughly at home. 


He dined about one o'clock ; then he rested a while, perhaps 
received more callers, and about four o'clock came the daily 
walk or drive, when in the exhilaration of healthful exercise 
his cares were forgotten. After supper he studied, or made 
visits. At times he had a habit of dropping in on his parish- 
ioners or other friends, chatting half an hour, perhaps remain- 
ing for a cup of tea, and always the life of any party in which 
he happened to be. Through all these busy hours were scattered 
numerous devotional exercises. He spent more time reading 
the Scriptures than perhaps any clergyman of his diocese, and 
was always ready for the humblest duty of the priesthood. 
Marriages, baptisms and funerals found him every ready, if the 
time could be spared from his necessary episcopal duties. His 
discourses to bridal couples were particularly happy, and many 
of them kept his picture in their homes throughout life. The 
sacredness of marriage, its responsibilities and duties, was a 
favorite theme with him. He regarded this as the foundation 
of the social structure, and his influence was unceasingly and 
uncompromisingly bent toward maintaining the home life of 
the people. He never failed, when occasion offered, to exalt 
the nobility of wifehood, motherhood, womanhood. He valued 
the judgment of women, as well as their devotion to the cause 
of religion. In many a household he watched the home circle 
spring up, and now and then, by a visit or a word of encour- 
agement, helped to strengthen its foundations. 

Often he said high mass and preached on Sundays, and he 
was foremost in Lenten devotions. Once every year he went 
into retreat with the clergy of his diocese. While he could 
adapt himself to circumstances with rare tact, he never lost 
sight of his office as a minister of religion. He could laugh 
over a game of marbles with a small boy, or discuss theology 
with equal zest in a conference with a visiting archbishop. 

A story is told of him by a friend who happened to see 
some angry boys disputing over a baseball game and a slender 
man standing in their midst trying to quiet them. On ap- 


proaching, the friend was surprised to see that it was the 
Archbishop. In a short time peace was restored and the game 

He frequently visited the institutions for the reformation 
of youth in Baltimore and its vicinity, speaking simple words 
of encouragement and vigorous common sense to the boys and 
girls. He did not believe in severe restrictions, though firm- 
ness he considered thoroughly necessary. His view was that 
in almost every person, young or old, there is much of good, 
which needs only to be awakened by proper influences. It has 
been, perhaps, due as much to his personal guidance and fre- 
quent aid, as to any other cause, that the benevolent and re- 
formatory institutions maintained by Catholics in the Diocese 
of Baltimore have taken a standard which has placed them con- 
spicuously in the front rank. 

Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. 

Archbishop Gibbons was near the noonday of his construc- 
tive activity when he embarked on one of the greatest projects 
of his Hfe — the organization and guidance of the Third Ple- 
nary Council of Baltimore, over which he presided as Apostolic 
Delegate. This notable gathering, which served as a model 
for subsequent councils of the Church in Canada, Australia 
and Ireland, was held in the Baltimore Cathedral from Novem- 
ber 9 to December 7, 1884. 

The rapid growth of the American Church and the diversity 
of its new problems led to the decision to convoke the prelates 
for a general consideration of its needs. Since the Second 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, held in 1866, many questions of a 
highly important character had developed, simultaneously with 
the amazing expansion of the American people. Waste lands in 
the West, where only the Indian had roamed, or perhaps an 
adventurous miner had strayed in search of sudden wealth, 
had changed into prosperous and populous communities, which 
afforded fertile fields for the activities of the Church. The 
territory once embraced in the Louisiana Purchase, and subject 
to the ecclesiastical laws of Spain and France by turns, had 
become united by the railway and the telegraph with the older 
communities of the East, in which precedent had been largely 
obtained from the hierarchy of Great Britain. Still further 
toward the Pacific, States and Territories had been organized 
out of the immense region wrested from Mexico by the fortune 
of war. Here, too, the customs were, in many instances, dif- 
ferent from those w^hich prevailed in other parts of the nation, 
and there was no longer such a separation by distance that 



uniformity was not essential. Not long before, the Archbishop 
of St. Louis and the Bishop of San Francisco had rarely seen 
the Archbishop of Baltimore, because of the great distances 
and the physical obstacles which separated them; but now it 
had become easy to assemble the whole hierarchy for effective 
and concerted action.* 

Wherever the Catholic Church goes, it organizes. From 
the nature of things, its methods necessitate concentration of 
authority and purpose. The mission which springs up in the 
primeval grove is as much subject to the spiritual oversight of 
the Supreme Pontiff as is the magnificent cathedral in one of 
the capitals of Europe. Its worship is not left to chance, nor 
circumstance, nor popular caprice; but must conform to the 
ritual of the universal Church, as decreed by the fathers assem- 
bled in the plentitude of their authority. 

The priest may penetrate an unexplored country; he may 
journey over wild mountains, or along streams where the un- 
tutored native has never seen a white man ; but he is bound as 
closely by faith and discipline to the great ecclesiastical organi- 
zation of which he is a part as is the canon of a basilica in 
Rome. The language in which he may celebrate the mysteries 
of the mass is not the one which he learned from his mother, 
not the one which may be spoken in the locality where he hap- 
pens to be, but the one which has formed the casket for the 
deposit of Catholic faith from the days of the martyrs. 

The United States in 1884 was still, in the eyes of Rome, a 
missionary countr}% subject to the jurisdiction of the Congre- 
gation of the Propaganda. It had no comprehensive frame- 
work of canon law which would serve as an enduring basis for 
the multiplication of its activities. The gifted doctors of the 
Church in Europe, Asia and Africa had possessed such consti- 
tutions for their guidance from ancient times, modified to suit 
conditions as they arose from era to era. Much had been ac- 

* Memorial Volume, Third Plenary CSounoll, pp. 211-22. 


complished by the first two plenary councils, which had assem- 
bled to deliberate upon the organization of the Church in 
America. The task, however, was far from complete, and the 
■necessity for its accomplishment was one of the chief reasons 
which led to convoking the third council. 

In a more conservative country, where population and social 
and political development proceeded at a less furious pace, 
many years might have elapsed before the comprehensive de- 
crees of the second council would have become obsolete in any 
important particular. America had made precedent itself obso- 
lete. Its statesmen had been no more able than its leaders 
in the religious world to penetrate the future. They had not 
seen that, in little more than a century, three millions of people 
would swell into a hundred millions. They had not known 
that the progress of invention would irritate the slavery ques- 
tion into a national sore which could be healed only by the 
knife. They had not seen that the rural communities of 
America, in which the framers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence expounded their sublime truths, would give place in a 
short time to vast cities, more populous and powerful than 
whole groups of independent States which had helped in times 
gone by to sway the world. 

At first, Archbishop Gibbons took a conservative view of the 
proposal to hold a plenary council. At the instance of Cardi- 
nal McCloskey, Bishop Corrigan, of Newark, called on him 
in January, 1882, to consult in reference to the expediency of 
summoning such a gathering. Cardinal McCloskey's own 
views were rather adverse to it, and Archbishop Gibbons ex- 
pressed the opinion that it would not be expedient to hold a 
council for some time to come. As a preliminary step, he 
suggested that provincial councils might be held, or the bishops 
of each province might assemble informally and consider what 
subjects might be discussed in a plenary council. 

In time, as opinion among the American hierarchy crystal- 
lized, Leo XIII called a number of the archbishops to Rome to 

VISIT TO ROME IN 1883-84. 101 

confer with him on the subject. Archbishop Gibbons left Bal- 
timore in October, 1883, for the Eternal City. The confer- 
ences there continued during November and part of the follow- 
ing month, and the state of the Church in this country was 
carefully considered in the thorough manner characteristic of 
Rome. Cardinal McCloskey was in infirm health, and Leo, 
having finally decided to convoke the council, designated the 
Baltimore archbishop as Apostohc Delegate to preside over it 
in his name. 

Archbishop Gibbons returned to Baltimore in March, 1884. 
He found that the clergy and laity had made extensive prepa- 
rations for a public reception, which he declined. In a sermon 
at the Cathedral a few days later, he expressed his thanks for 
the offer, but added : 

"I am myself opposed to such public demonstrations, and though thoy 
may be appropriate on some occasions, I felt that I had not the age nor 
the merits to deserve such. It would have taken place in the midst of 
Lent, and I would have felt very much mortified to consider myself con- 
ducted home in a procession of triumph at a time when the Church 
directs our minds to the spectacle of our Saviour conducted to suffering 
in a procession of shame." 

The Archbishop, in the same discourse, spoke of his experi- 
ences in Rome. After saying that he had three private audi- 
ences with Leo XIII and two others in company with his 
brother prelates, he drew a picture of that pontiff which was 
significant of their future relations. 

"No one can spend a half hour in the presence of Leo XIII," 
he said, "without giving thanks to God for granting to His 
Church so great a pontiff, and without being profoundly im- 
pressed with the breadth and elevation of sentiments that in- 
spire him. In my first interview he remarked to me : *I dislike 
severe and harsh measures; I dislike anathemas; I love to 
appeal to the good sense and intelligence and heart of the 
world. As the vicar and servant of Christ, I desire to draw 
all souls more closely to our common Master. To all I am a 
debtor. I have the solicitude of all the churches of Europe, 


Asia, Africa, and especially of your own great and beloved 
country, whose spiritual progress gives me such consolation.' 

"Notwithstanding his advanced age and delicate, I might say 
emaciated, frame, the Pope is indefatigable in his labors. In 
my first interview with him he informed me that he began his 
audiences that morning at half-past eight o'clock. They con- 
tinued until his frugal meal at one o'clock, and were resumed 
and lasted probably until nine o'clock at night. I was informed 
by a member of his household that he allow^s himself but little 
repose, and that sometimes, when the city is buried in sleep, the 
aged pontiff is engaged until after midnight in waiting his 
masterly encyclicals or in doing some other good w^ork in the 
interests of the Christian commonwealth." 

The Archbishop also spoke of the life of the cardinals — 
his future associates — saying that, "whatever may be the pomp 
w^hich surrounds them on public occasions, the Roman cardi- 
nals, especially those engaged in congregations, are the hardest 
worked officials in the Eternal City. They are conspicuous 
for their learning and piety, and lead simple lives in the sanc- 
tuary of their homes, and, some of them, even lives of great 
austerity. If profound knowledge and clear insight into char- 
acter and good common sense and sterling virtue and un- 
wearied application to the duties of office form the essential ele- 
ments of prudent counselors, the Roman cardinals constitute 
the most able senate of any deliberative body existing in the 

Regarding his conferences at Rome, he said they were held 
at the College of the Propaganda, under the presidency of 
Cardinal Simeoni, assisted by Cardinals Franzelin and Jaco- 
bini. They were characterized by "the most ample freedom of 
discussion, joined with the most perfect harmony and good 

The Archbishop also dwelt on his observations of general 
conditions abroad, and expressed a viewpoint which had al- 
ready become characteristic of him, when he said : 


"The oftener I go to Europe, the longer I remain there, and 
the more I study the poHtical condition of its people, I return 
home filled with greater consideration for our country and 
more profoundly gratified that I am an American citizen. 
When I contemplate the standing armies of over a million sol- 
diers in each of the principal countries of Europe; when I con- 
sider what an enormous drain these armies are on the re- 
sources of a country and what a frightful source of immoral- 
ity; when I consider that they are a constant menace to their 
neighbors and an incentive to war, and when I consider that the 
subject of war engages so much of the attention of the cabinets 
of Europe; and when, on the other hand, I look at our own 
country, with its 55,000,000 of inhabitants and its little army 
of 25,000 men scattered along our frontiers, so that we might 
travel from Maine to California without meeting a soldier or a 
gendarme; and when I consider that, if need be, every citizen 
is a soldier without being confined to barracks and is ready to 
defend and to die for his country; when I consider that we 
have no entangling alliances; when I reflect on our material 
prosperity ; above all, when I consider the happy blending with 
us of authority with civil and religious liberty; with all our 
political corruption, I bless God for the favors he has vouch- 
safed us and I pray that he may continue to hold over us the 
mantle of his protection."* 

It was an immense task to prepare for a new plenary coun- 
cil. Archbishop Gibbons showed his rare judgment of men by 
selecting Dr. Dennis J. O'Connell as his assistant. He could 
not have chosen an ecclesiastic better fitted by keen insight into 
the workings of the universal Church and rare comprehension 
of the true spirit of the American people to help him in the 
undertaking. The archbishop himself was particularly adapted 
by experience, no less than by ability, for his work, having 
served as assistant chancellor at the Second Plenary Council of 
Baltimore and having been a participant as bishop in the 

* Catholic Mirror. March 22, 1884. 


Vatican Council of 1870. He had seen the operations of the 
Church in both Europe and America, and had studied her pohty 
at the fountain of the pontificate. Her great men had been his 
counselors. The work was congenial to his natural bent, and 
its prodigious labor did not deter him. 

An outline was completed for numerous topics to be treated 
by the council; and when his conferences in Rome were over, 
the basis for all the deliberations of the prelates in Baltimore 
had been accurately marked out. On his return home, he 
applied himself to a continuance of his preparation for the 
council. He w-as engaged on this arduous undertaking every 
day up to the time for the gathering to assemble. 

Soon after his return he issued a pastoral* on the confisca- 
tion of the American College by the Italian Government. The 
college had been founded and maintained by contributions from 
the American residents of Rome and the Catholics of this coun- 
try. The Government at Washington promptly protested 
against its unwarranted seizure, and it was ultimately restored 
to its rightful owners. 

The work of Archbishop Gibbons in preparing for the coun- 
cil found a fitting climax in the deliberations of that body 
itself. It was natural that differences of opinion should de- 
velop, for its members represented diversified and widely sepa- 
rated communities. They spoke with that full freedom which 
is permissible even in the precincts of the Vatican, and which, 
in the clash of ideas, develops the vital spark that fuses the 
predominant judgment of learning, experience and piety. The 
ability and tact of Archbishop Gibbons were put to a severe 
test, but seemed to respond more fully as greater demands were 
made on them. When debaters like Ireland, of St. Paul ; Keane, 
of Richmond; Spalding, of Peoria; Gilmour, of Cleveland; 
Hennessy, of Dubuque, and Ryan, of Philadelphia, could not 
agree, he found common ground on which all could stand. 
Had his career been wholly different, and had he embarked on 

* Cathedral Archives. 


the uncertain sea of politics, he would probably have attained 
as conspicuous success as in the Church. He understood, with 
rare comprehension of human nature, how to handle a large 
deliberative gathering. He could say a word here, bestow a 
smile there, express a doubt at the right moment, and seize the 
psychological opportunity to press a point. 

When the facts are considered, it is extraordinary that 
unity could have been obtained among men of such strong 
characteristics, whose opinions were inevitably influenced by 
great differences of initial viewpoint. It was a "melting pot" 
in which the diverse tendencies of the American people were 
mingled; but, happily, the individual members of the gather- 
ing proved that they possessed within themselves resources 
enough for the construction of great national ideas. 

The council ended in complete -harmony ; and the venerable 
Archbishop Kenrick, of St. Louis, wept at its close, as he 
expressed the thanks of the prelates to the Apostolic Delegate 
for the manner in which he had presided over their delibera- 
tions.* "More than half a century," said he, "has .passed 
since the First Plenary Council, when I stood beneath the -dome 
of this Cathedral, a silent spectator of the deliberations of that 
body. I had never seen a more sublime sight. It was not this 
grand old building, nor the gorgeous vestments, nor the dulcet 
strains of the music that inspired me. It was that assemblage 
of men from all parts of .the country, with different ideas and 
sentiments, but with one common end in view — the good ,of 
our Church. 

"When Xerxes beheld his army of a million men standing 
in their martial strength before him, .he wept on reflecting that 
not one of that mighty host would survive a century ; and so of 
us, venerable Fathers, in half that time death shall claim us all." 

Tears flowed down the seams of his aged face as he referred 
to the pleasant memories of the two former plenary councils. 

* Catholic Mirror, December 13, 1884. 


Archbishop Gibbons was, naturally, moved to his inmost 
depths by this closing scene. "Whatever success has attended 
my part of the work," he said, with characteristic modesty, 
"I attribute, under God, to your kind forbearance and uniform 
benevolence toward me. Mindful of the words of the apostle, 
you have not despised my youth. I have witnessed the pro- 
ceedings of the greatest deliberative bodies in the world; I have 
listened to debates in the House of Commons, the French 
Chambers, and both Houses of Congress; I have attended 
provincial, national and ecumenical councils; but never did I 
witness more uniform courtesy in debate, more hearty acqui- 
escence in the opinions of the majority than in the Third Ple- 
nary Council of Baltimore. 

"Venerable Fathers, we have met as bishops of a common 
faith ; we part as brothers, bound by the closest ties of charity. 
Though differing in nationality, in language, in habits, in 
tastes, in local interests, we have met as members of the same 
immortal episcopate, having 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
one God and Father of all;' and if the Holy Father, whose 
portrait adorns our council chamber, could speak from the 
canvas, well could he exclaim, 'Behold how good and how 
pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!' 

"The words you have spoken in council, like good seed, are 
yet hidden from the eyes of men; but they will one day arise 
and bring forth fruit of sanctification. The decrees you have 
formulated will foster discipline and piety; they will quicken 
the faith and cheer the hearts of millions of Catholics. 

"This is the last time that we shall assemble under the dome 
of this venerable Cathedral, with the portraits of God's saints 
looking down upon us. The venerable Archbishop has re- 
minded us of our short tenure of life; but we are immortal! 
God grant that the scene of today may be a presage of our 
future reunion in the temple above, not made with hands, in 
the company of God's saints, where, clothed in white robes 


and with palms in our hands, we shall sing benediction and 
honor and glory to our God forever."* 

The decrees of the council were taken -to Rome by Dr. 
O'Connell and several of the American bishops. They were 
signed by 14 archbishops, 61 bishops or their representatives, 
6 abbots and one general of a religious order. The decrees 
were approved and returned without material changes, and the 
highest praise was bestowed upon Archbishop Gibbons for the 
manner in which he had guided the assemblage of 'prelates. 
It was, indeed, a monumental work, and the Church through- 
out the world was quick to recognize it. 

One of the principal outcomes of this council, as viewed in 
the light of later events, was the foundation of the Catholic 
University of America. The higher education of the Ameri- 
can clergy and of Catholic youth had long engaged the deep 
attention of Archbishop Gibbons and other far-seeing mem- 
bers of the hierarchy. Notwithstanding the multiplication of 
schools for the advanced training of priests, many of them 
were still forced to go to the great universities abroad, and they 
returned, in some cases, with ideas which were not suited to 
the characteristics of the flocks they served. The develop- 
ment of a thoroughly American clergy, one in faith and dis- 
cipline with their brethren throughout the world, but in touch 
with the spirit and aspirations of their own people, was a 
favorite project with the Baltimore Archbishop and other dis- 
cerning men in the Church. 

Naturally, the Church became the shepherd of a large por- 
tion of the immigrants from countries where English was not 
spoken, and she consistently pursued the policy of selecting 
priests for these people who could speak their own language, 
who could sympathize with and help them in their homes on 
an intimate footing. But the greatest obstacle of all was that 
a number of the clergy who served English-speaking congrega- 

• Memorial Volume, Third Plenary Council, pp. 65-67. 


tions were of foreign birth and training. In part, this could 
not have been avoided, as the CathoHc Church insists upon a 
rigorous schooHng of her priests, in accordance with the de- 
crees of the Council of Trent and of the Vatican Council; they 
could not be content with the moderate education which often 
sufficed for clergymen of some Protestant faiths. Until the 
birth of the American republic, practically all the priests who 
labored in English-speaking America were foreigners. Almost 
simultaneously with the foundation of the hierarchy in the per- 
son of Bishop Carroll, the devoted fathers of St. Sulpice had 
come from Paris to found in Baltimore a college for the train- 
ing of priests. This w^as, naturally, under French influences 
for many years. As other schools developed, they were all of 
European origin, and it had been difficult to send forth for 
ordination Catholic ministers of religion who had been asso- 
ciated with no educational training except that of their own 

In colonial times the American priesthood had a French 
tinge, just as the priesthood of the Church of England had an 
English origin. Later, when the wave of Irish immigration 
set in, the priests were largely of Irish birth; and as Germans 
began to swarm to the shores of America, there was another 
introduction of foreign influence. 

Archbishop Gibbons, a native American, an intense admirer 
of the land of his birth, an optimist regarding the American 
people, felt that this should be changed. While a priest could 
execute his Divine mission without being one in language or 
social environment with the recipients of his ministrations, it 
was far better to have an American clergy for Americans. 
It was also highly important to have a cultured clergy — men 
who, while able to penetrate among the homes of the poor, to 
carry their evangel into the nurseries of vice and degradation, 
could also meet the higher types of the people on a footing of 
perfect equality. Tens of thousands of Catholics were men 
and women of culture, refined in their social instincts, moving 


in the best circles of city, town and country. The priests minis- 
tering to them should have some polish, some versatility of 
education and association, some measure of the impulses of 
those with whom they came in contact. 

In an incredibly short time a wonderful system of Catholic 
education had been established throughout the United States. 
Still, it needed a capstone. American universities, up to 1876, 
had been little more than advanced colleges ; but with the estab- 
lishment of the Johns Hopkins University, at Baltimore, in the 
centennial year, European methods of post-graduate education 
were introduced, and soon the whole American system of higher 
culture was being shifted to this base. It was no longer the 
under-graduate, but the post-graduate, work of an educational 
system which faithfully expressed its essential character. The 
one thing needed to surmount the structure already raised by 
the Catholic Church was the active help of devoted and wealthy 
laymen in founding a university where the loftiest ideals of the 
Church for the training of her priesthood and laity should be 
fitly expressed. At first this was only a dream. At the Sec- 
ond Plenary Council of Baltimore the question was seriously 
debated, whether the time had not come to establish a univer- 
sity; but means were lacking, and it was felt that the mo- 
ment was not opportune to embark satisfactorily upon this 
undertaking. There was unanimity of opinion among the 
prelates who. then expressed themselves on the subject that the 
day was not far distant when the university could be founded, 
and they resolved always to keep in sight this climax of their 
educational efforts. 

Bishop Spalding was the apostle of the project. A Kentuck- 
ian by birth, he had studied at Mount St. Mary's College, Em- 
mitsburg, Md., and also in Cincinnati ; but to obtain the ample 
training which he sought for his life work, he had been com- 
pelled to spend five years at Louvain.* He saw the grievous 
need for a great university in America, and he early embarked 

* Reily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. I, p. 151. 


on a life of effort to bring about a realization of this fond hope. 
His briUiant talents and the ardor of youth combined to equip 
him admirably for his mission. In 1882 he visited Rome and 
obtained the papal approval for the plan of organizing the 
university. Archbishop Gibbons, and the other prelates who 
met in Rome in the autumn of 1883 to frame the outlines for 
the work of the Third Plenary Council, discussed the project 
with eager hopes, and resolved to embrace it in their program. 
When the council met, Bishop Spalding was able to announce 
a triumph. He presented an offer from Miss Mary Gwendo- 
line Caldwell of $300,000 to form the nucleus for a university 
fund. Her father, William Shakespeare Caldwell, had in- 
herited a large fortune, which he increased by his own business 
skill. While living in Richmond, Va., as we have previously 
seen, he had munificently endowed the Little Sisters of the 
Poor, and bestowed with open hand other benefactions on the 

The offer was gladly accepted, and the council appointed a 
board of trustees to take charge of the university project. 
Archbishop Gibbons headed this board, and for many years 
devoted himself with unceasing solicitude and activity to the 
realization of the plan. An appeal was issued to the Catholics 
of the United States to provide the means for the endowment 
of eight professorships, with which it was decided that the 
university could begin its work, and also to erect the necessary 
buildings. On all sides the idea was welcomed. In a short 
time an admirable group of buildings had been erected at 
Washington, and the aspirations of years were bearing abun- 
dant fruit.f 

Provision for the careful government of the Church was 
notable in the other acts of the council. | It was declared that 
when a see became vacant, the archbishop should assemble the 

* Pago 68. 

t Eiordan, in the Catholic Church In the United States of America, Vol. II, p 35. 

tActa at Decreta Gone. Plen. HI (Baltimore, 1886). 


consultors and irremovable rectors of the diocese, and they 
should choose three names to be forwarded to Rome and to 
the other bishops of the province. The bishops of the province, 
under the presidency of the archbishop, were to meet and dis- 
cuss the candidates; if they desired, they might reject all the 
names proposed and substitute others, but must give their 
reasons for the change in forwarding their recommendation to 
Rome, where the pontiff was to make the final selection. 

It was recommended that there should be six diocesan con- 
sultors, but two would suffice. Half of these were to be 
chosen by the bishop at his own option; the other half, after 
nomination by the clergy. The advice of these consultors 
should be asked by the clergy regarding the holding of a dio- 
cesan synod, dividing a parish, committing a parish to a re- 
ligious society, and in transactions relating to Church property 
where the sum involved was more than $5,000. Consultors 
were to hold office three years, and could not be removed except 
for grave reasons. Each bishop was to appoint six examiners 
of diocesan clergy. They were to examine the junior clergy 
and the candidates for irremovable rectorships. 

A parish, in order to have an irremovable rector, must pos- 
sess a proper church, a school for boys and girls, and stable 
revenues for the support of priest, church and c>/nool. In 
each diocese every tenth rector should be irremovable, if the 
needed conditions obtained. A candidate for such a post must 
have been in the ministry ten years and have shown himself a 
satisfactory administrator in spiritual and temporal affairs. 
The examination for irremovable rectorships must take place 
before the bishop or vicar-general and three examiners. Each 
candidate was required to answer questions on dogmatic and 
moral theology, liturgy and canon law, and to give specimens 
of catechetical exposition and preaching. 

Priests ordained for a diocese were bound by oath to remain 
in it. If an alien priest brought satisfactory testimonials from 
a former bishop, he might be admitted only after a probation 


of from three to five years. Infirm clergy were to be cared 
for. Unworthy priests, it was decreed, had no just claims to 
support, but, if they wished to amend, a house governed by 
regulars should be provided for them. 

All priests should make a spiritual retreat once a year, or at 
least every two years. They should give themselves to solid 
reading and study, and avoid conduct that could raise the least 
suspicion of evil. 

In all dioceses of the United States, it was ordered, there 
were to be the following six feasts of obligation and no others : 
The Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Circumcision of Our 
Lord (New Year's Day), Ascension, Assumption and All 
Saints' Day. The faithful were exhorted to a proper observ- 
ance of Sunday. Music in church should accord with the 
sacredness of the time and place. 

As the Church considers marriage one of the seven sacra- 
ments, it must be administered by a duly authorized priest. 
Mixed marriages were not to be contracted unless it were prom- 
ised that the Catholic party to the union was in no danger of 
being turned from the Church and would strive to convert the 
non-Catholic party. Promises must also be given that the chil- 
dren of the union were to be brought up as Catholics. No dis- 
pensation from these obligations was permitted. 

Preparatory seminaries for the education of clerics were to 
be organized. The students should be taught Christian doctrine, 
English, and at least one other modern language, according to 
the necessities of the diocese. They must learn to speak and 
write Latin, and instruction in Greek was also to be given. 
The teaching was to embrace the usual branches of profane 
learning, including the natural sciences, besides music and the 
Gregorian chant. Care must be taken in admitting candidates 
to the greater seminaries, and they must be zealously trained in 
virtue and learning. They were to take two years' work in 
philosophy and four years in theology. In theology were to 


be included the dogmatic and moral branches of the subject, 
biblical exercises, church history, canon law, liturgy and sacred 
eloquence. Great care must be taken in the appointment of 
the spiritual directors and the professors of the seminaries. 
Clerical students must spend their vacations in a manner be- 
coming their profession. 

For five years after ordination priests must take an exami- 
nation every year in Scripture, dogmatic and moral theology, 
canon law. Church history and liturgy. Priests having the 
care of souls were to attend ecclesiastical meetings for the 
consideration of questions of doctrine and discipline; such 
meetings were to be held four times yearly in urban and twice 
yearly in rural districts. 

Parochial schools were declared to be an absolute necessity, 
and pastors were directed to establish them. Parents must 
send their children to such schools, unless the bishop judged 
that there was sufficient reason for sending them elsewhere. 
It was held to be desirable that instruction in the schools should 
be free. Colleges and academies for the higher education of 
youth trained in parochial schools were to be encouraged by 
all possible means. 

The council appointed a commission to prepare a catechism 
for general use, which was made obligatory after its publica- 
tion. Another commission framed, with exacting care and the 
labor of years, a manual of prayers, which is a model of its 
kind and is the standard for American Catholics. Still an- 
other commission was appointed to aid the missions among the 
Indians and negroes. 

Regarding secret societies, it was decreed that if Rome had 
not condemned a particular one, a commission composed of all 
the archbishops of the country was to decide whether or not 
it properly came under the laws relating to forbidden organiza- 
ti(Dns. If the archbishops could not agree, the matter was to 


be referred to Rome. This point later proved to be of the 
highest importance in the Knights of Labor controversy. 

The bishop was decreed to be the guardian and supreme 
administrator of ecclesiastical property. In all churches some 
seats must be provided for the poor. Warning was given re- 
garding abuses incident to such means of raising money as pic- 
nics, fairs and excursions. Balls for religious purposes were 
not to be given. 

Each diocese was to have an episcopal tribunal. In dis- 
ciplinary cases it was to consist of a judge, a fiscal procurator, 
a diocesan attorney, an attorney for the accused and a chancel- 
lor. An auditor and a notary might be added. In matri- 
monial cases the officers of the tribunal were to be an 
auditor, a defender of the marriage tie and a notary; the inter- 
ested persons might employ advocates. 

The pastoral letter issued by the Fathers of the Council 
at the close of their sessions expressed clearly the objects which 
they had sought to accomplish, as well as defined briefly their 
principal decrees. The influence of Archbishop Gibbons was 
plainly seen in a number of its most important declarations. 
Perhaps most significant of all was its definition of the har- 
mony between ^the Catholic Church and the American people. 
On this point the following extract may be quoted :* 

"We think we can claim to be acquainted with the laws, 
institutions and spirit of the Catholic Church, and with the 
laws, institutions and spirit of our country; and we emphat- 
ically declare that there is no antagonism between them. A' 
Catholic finds himself at home in the United States; for the 
influence of his Church has constantly been exercised in behalf 
of individual rights and popular liberties. And the right- 
minded American nowhere finds himself more at home than in 
the Catholic Church, for nowhere else can he breathe more 
freely that atmosphere of Divine truth, which alone can make 
him free. 

* Memorial Volume, Third Plenary Council, Part. 3. 


"We repudiate with earnestness the assertion that we need to 
lay aside any of our devotedness to our Church, to be true 
Americans; the insinuation that we need to abate any of our 
love for our country's principles and institutions, to be faithful 
Catholics. To argue that the Catholic Church is hostile to our 
great Republic, because she teaches that 'there is no power but 
from God;' because, back of the events which led to the for- 
mation of the Republic she sees the Providence of God leading 
to that issue, and back of our country's laws the authority of 
God as their sanction — this is evidently so illogical and contra- 
dictory an accusation, that we are astonished to hear it ad- 
vanced by persons of ordinary intelligence. We believe that 
our country's heroes were the instruments of the God of Na- 
tions in establishing this home of freedom; to both the Al- 
mighty and to His instruments in the work we look with grate- 
ful reverence, and to maintain the inheritance of freedom 
which they have left us, should it ever — which God forbid — 
be imperiled, our Catholic citizens will be found to stand for- 
ward, as one man, ready to pledge anew 'their lives, their for- 
tunes and their sacred honor.' 

"No less illogical would be the notion, that there is aught in 
the free spirit of our American institutions incompatible with 
perfect docility to the Church of Christ. The spirit of Ameri- 
can freedom is not one of anarchy or license. It essentially 
involves love of order, respect for rightful authority and obedi- 
ence to just laws. There is nothing in the character of the 
most liberty-loving American which could hinder his reveren- 
tial submission to the Divine authority of our Lord, or to the 
like authority delegated by Him to His Apostles and His 
Church. Nor are there in the world more devoted adherents 
of the Catholic Church, the See of Peter and the Vicar of 
Christ, than the Catholics of the United States. Narrow, in- 
sular, national views and jealousies concerning ecclesiastical 
authority and Church organization may have sprung naturally 
enough from the selfish policy of certain rulers and nations in 


by-gone times; but they find no sympathy in the spirit of the 
true American CathoHc. His natural instincts, no less than 
his religious training, would forbid him to submit in matters 
of faith to the dictation of the state or to any merely human 
authority whatsoever. He accepts the religion and the Church 
that are from God, and he knows well that these are universal, 
not national or local — for all the children of men, not for any 
special tribe or tongue. We glory that we are, and with God's 
blessing shall continue to be, not the American church, nor the 
church of the United States, nor a church in any other sense 
exclusive or limited, but an integral part of the one holy Cath- 
olic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, which is the Body 
of Christ, in which there is no distinction of classes and nation- 
alities — in which all are one in Christ Jesus." 

The fathers stated that one of their first cares had been to 
provide for the education of aspirants to the priesthood. "It 
has always been the Church's endeavor," says the pastoral 
letter, "that her clergy should be eminent in learning, for she 
has always considered that nothing less than this is required by 
their sacred office of guarding and dispensing Divine truth. 
'The lips of the priest shall keep knowledge,' says the Most 
High, 'and the people shall seek the law at his mouth.' This is 
true at all times; for no advance in secular knowledge, no dif- 
fusion of popular education, can do away with the office of the 
teaching ministry, which Our Lord has declared shall last for- 

"In every age it is and shall be the duty of God's priests to 
proclaim the salutary truths which our Heavenly Father has 
given to the world through his Divine Son; to present them 
to each generation in the way that will move minds and 
hearts to embrace and love them ; to defend them, when neces- 
sary, against every attack of error. From this it is obvious 
that the priest should have a wide acquaintance with every 
department of learning that has a bearing on religious truth. 
Hence in our age, when so many misleading theories are put 


forth on every side, when every department of natural truth 
and fact is actively explored for objections against revealed 
religion, it is evident how extensive and thorough should be the 
knowledge of the minister of the Divine Word, that he may be 
able to show forth worthily the beauty, the superiority, the 
necessity of the Christian religion, and to prove that there is 
nothing in all that God has made to contradict anything that 
God has taught. 

"Hence the priest who has the noble ambition of attaining 
to the high level of his holy office, may well consider himself a 
student all his life; and of the leisure hours which he can find 
amid the duties of his ministry, he will have very few that he 
can spare for miscellaneous reading, and none at all to waste. 
And hence, too, the evident duty devolving on us, to see that 
the course of education in our ecclesiastical colleges and semi- 
naries be as perfect as it can be made. During the century of 
extraordinary growth now closing, the care of the Church in 
this country has been to send forth as rapidly as possible holy, 
zealous, hard-working priests, to supply the needs of the multi- 
tudes calling for the ministrations of religion. She has not, on 
that account, neglected to prepare them for their Divine work, 
as her numerous and admirable seminaries testify; but the 
course of study was often more rapid and restricted than she 
desired. At present our improved circumstances make it prac- 
ticable both to lengthen and widen the course, and for this the 
council has duly provided." 

The question of popular education, which had been fully dis- 
cussed by the council, is treated of in the pastoral letter as one of 
supreme importance. The declarations of this council are par- 
ticularly noteworthy as furnishing the basis on which the 
school question was afterward worked out by American Cath- 

"Popular education," the letter declares, "has always been 
a chief object of the Church's care; in fact, it is not too much 
to say that the history of civilization and education is the his- 


tory of the Church's work. In the rude ages, when semi- 
barbarous chieftains boasted of their ilhteracy, she succeeded 
in diffusing that love of learning which covered Europe with 
schools and universities : and thtis from the barbarous tribes of 
the early Middle Ages she built up the civilized nations of 
modern times. Even subsequent to the religious dissensions 
of the sixteenth century, whatever progress has been made in 
education is mainly due to the impetus which she had previ- 
ously given. In our country, notwithstanding the many diffi- 
culties attendant on first beginnings and unexampled growth, 
we already find her schools, academies and colleges everywhere, 
built and sustained by voluntary contributions, even at the cost 
of great sacrifices, and comparing favorably with the best edu- 
cational institutions in the land. 

"These facts abundantly attest the Church's desire for popu- 
lar instruction. The beauty of truth, the refining and eleva- 
ting influences of knowledge, are meant for all, and she wishes 
them to be brought within the reach of all. Knowledge en- 
larges our capacity both for self -improvement and for promo- 
ting the welfare of our fellow-men; and in so noble a work 
the Church wishes every hand to be busy. Knowledge, too, is 
the best weapon against pernicious errors. It is only *a little 
learning' that is *a dangerous thing.' In days like ours, when er- 
ror is so pretentious and aggressive, every one needs to be as 
completely armed as possible with sound knowledge — not only 
the clergy, but the people also — that they may be able to with- 
stand the noxious influences of popularized irreligion. In the 
great coming combat between truth and error, between faith 
and agnosticism, an important part of the fray must be borne 
by the laity, and woe to them if they are not well prepared! 
And if, in the olden days of vassalage and serfdom, the Church 
honored every individual, no matter how humble his position, 
and labored to give him the enlightenment that would qualify 
him for future responsibilities, much more now, in the era 
of popular rights and liberties, when every individual is an 


active and influential factor in the body politic, does she desire 
that all should be fitted by suitable training for an intelligent 
and conscientious discharge of the important duties that will 
devolve upon them. 

"Few, if any, will deny that a sound civilization must de- 
pend upon sound popular education. But education, in order 
to be sound and to produce beneficial results, must develop 
what is best in man, and make him not only clever, but good. 
A one-sided education will develop a one-sided life; and such a 
life will surely topple over, and so will every social system that 
is built up of such lives. True civilization requires that not 
only the physical and intellectual, but also the moral and relig- 
ious well-being of theapeople should be promoted, and at least 
with equal care. Take away religion from a people, and moral- 
ity would soon follow; morality gone, even their physical con- 
dition would ere long degenerate into corruption, which breeds 
decrepitude, while their intellectual attainments would only 
serve as a light to guide them to greater depths of vice and ruin. 

"This has been so often demonstrated in the history of the 
past, and is, in fact, so self-evident, that one is amazed to find 
any difference of opinion about it. A civilization without re- 
ligion would be a civilization of 'the struggle for existence and 
the survival of the fittest,' in which cunning and strength 
would become the substitutes for principle, virtue, conscience 
and duty. As a matter of fact, there never has been a civili- 
zation worthy of the name without religion ; and from the facts 
of history the laws of human nature can easily be inferred. 

"Hence education, in order to foster civilization, must fos- 
ter religion. But many, unfortunately, while avowing that 
religion should be the light and the atmosphere of the home 
and of the Church, are content to see it excluded from the 
school, and even advocate as the best school system that which 
necessarily excludes religion. Few surely will deny that child- 
hood and youth are the periods of life when the character 
ought especially to be subjected to religious influences. Nor 


can we Ignore the palpable fact that the school system is an 
important factor in the forming of childhood and youth — so 
important that its influence often outweighs that of home and 

"It cannot, therefore, be desirable or advantageous that re- 
ligion should be excluded from the school. On the contrary, 
it ought there to be one of the chief agencies for molding the 
young life to all that is true and virtuous and holy. To shut 
religion out of the school and keep it for home and the Church, 
is, logically, to train up a generation that will consider religion 
good for home and the Church, but not for the practical busi- 
ness of real life. But a more false and pernicious notion could 
not be imagined. Religion, in order to elevate a people, should 
inspire their whole life and rule their relations with one an- 
other. A life is not dwarfed, but ennobled, by being lived in 
the presence of God. Therefore, the school, which principally 
gives the knowledge fitting for practical life, ought to be pre- 
eminently under the holy influence of religion. From the 
shelter of home and school the youth must soon go out into 
the busy ways of trade or traffic or professional practice. In 
all these, the principles of religion should animate and di- 
rect him. But he cannot expect to learn these principles in the 
workshop or the office, or the counting-room. Therefore, let 
him be well and thoroughly imbued with them by the joint 
influences of home and school before he is launched out on the 
dangerous sea of life. 

"All denominations of Christians are now awakening to this 
great truth, which the Catholic Church has never ceased to 
maintain. Reason and experience are forcing them to recog- 
nize that the only practical way to secure a Christian people is 
to give the youth a Christian education. The avowed enemies 
of Christianity in some European countries are banishing re- 
ligion from the schools, in order, gradually, to eliminate it from 
among the people. In this they are logical, and we may well 
profit by the lesson. Hence the cry for Christian education is 


going up from all religious bodies throughout the land. And 
this is no narrowness and 'sectarianism' on their part; it is an 
honest and logical endeavor to preserve Christian truth and 
morality among the people by fostering religion in the young. 

"Nor is it any antagonism to the State ; on the contrary, it is 
an honest endeavor to give to the State better citizens, by mak- 
ing them better Christians. The friends of Christian educa- 
tion do not condemn the state for not imparting religious in- 
struction in the public schools as they are now organized; be- 
cause they well know it does not lie within the province of the 
state to teach religion. They simply follow their conscience 
by sending their children to denominational schools, where re- 
ligion can have its rightful place and influence. 

"Two objects, therefore, dear brethren, we have in view — 
to multiply our schools, and to perfect them. We must multi- 
ply them till every Catholic child in the land shall have within 
its reach the means of education. There is still much to do 
ere this be attained. There are still thousands of Catholic 
children in the United States deprived of the benefit of a Cath- 
olic school. Pastors and parents should not rest till this defect 
be remedied. No parish is complete till it has schools adequate 
to the needs of its children, and the pastor and people of such 
a parish should feel that they have not accomplished their en- 
tire duty until the want is supplied. 

"But, then, we must also perfect our schools. We repudiate 
the idea that the Catholic school need be in any respect in- 
ferior to any other school whatsoever. And if hitherto, in 
some places, our people have acted on the principle that it is 
better to have an imperfect Catholic school than to have none, 
let them now push their praiseworthy ambition still further, 
and not relax their efforts till their schools be elevated to the 
highest educational excellence. And we implore parents not 
to hasten to take their children from school, but to give them 
all the time and all the advantages by which they have the 


capacity to profit, so that in after life their children may 'rise 
up and call them blessed.' " 

Another portion of the pastoral letter which was destined 
to be frequently referred to in impending controversies was 
that relating to forbidden societies. It should be remembered 
that these decrees were to be binding, unless revoked by a sub- 
sequent council. "One of the most striking characteristics of 
our times," says the letter, "is the universal tendency to band 
together in societies for all sorts of purposes. This tendency 
is the natural outgrowth of an age of popular rights and repre- 
sentative institutions. It is also in accordance with the spirit 
of the Church, whose aim, as indicated by her name Catholic, 
is to unite all mankind in brotherhood. It is consonant also 
with the spirit of Christ, who came to break down all walls of 
division, and to gather all in the one family of the one Heavenly 

"From the hilltop of her Divine mission and her world- 
wide experience, she sees events and their consequences far 
more clearly than they who are down in the tangled plain of 
daily Hfe. She has seen associations that were once praise- 
worthy become pernicious by change of circumstances. She 
has seen others which won the admiration of the world by their 
early achievements corrupted by power or passion, or evil guid- 
ance, and she has been forced to condemn them. She has be- 
held associations which had their origin in the spirit of the 
ages of faith transformed by lapse of time and loss of faith, 
and the manipulation of designing leaders, into the open or hid- 
den enemies of religion and human weal. 

"Thus our Holy Father, Leo XIII, has lately shown that 
the Masonic and kindred societies — although the offspring of 
the ancient Guilds, which aimed at sanctifying trades and 
tradesmen with the blessings of religion ; and, although retain- 
ing, perhaps, in their 'ritual' much that tells of the religious- 
ness of their origin, and although in some countries still 
professing entire friendliness toward the Christian religion — 


have, nevertheless, already gone so far, in many countries, as to 
array themselves in avowed hostility against Christianity and 
against the Catholic Church as its embodiment, so that they 
virtually aim at substituting a world-wide fraternity of their 
own for the universal brotherhood of Jesus Christ, and at dis- 
seminating mere naturalism for the supernatural revealed re- 
Hgion bestowed upon mankind by the Saviour of the world. 
He has shown, too, that, even in countries where they are as yet 
far from acknowledging such purposes, they, nevertheless, have 
in them the germs which, under favorable circumstances, would 
inevitably blossom forth in similar results. 

"The Church, consequently, forbids her children to have 
any connection with such societies, because they are either an 
open evil to be shunned, or a hidden danger to be avoided. She 
would fail in her duty if she did not speak the word of warn- 
ing, and her children would equally fail in theirs if they did 
not heed it. 

"Whenever, therefore, the Church has spoken authorita- 
tively with regard to any society, her decision ought to be final 
for every Catholic. He ought to know that the Church has not 
acted hastily, or unwisely, or mistakenly; he should be con- 
vinced that any worldly advantages which he might derive 
from the membership of such society would be a poor substi- 
tute for the membership, the sacraments and the blessings of 
the Church of Christ; he should have the courage of his re- 
ligious convictions, and stand firm to faith and conscience. 
But if he be inclined or asked to join a society on which the 
Church has passed no sentence, then let him, as a reasonable 
and Christian man, examine into it carefully, and not join the 
society until he is satisfied of its lawful character. 

"There is one characteristic which is always a strong pre- 
sumption against a society, and that is secrecy. Our Divine 
Lord Himself has laid down the rule: 'Every one that doeth 
evil, hateth the light and cometh not to the light, that his works 
may not be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the 


light that his works may be made manifest, because they are 
done in God.' When, therefore, associations veil themselves 
in secrecy and darkness, the presumption is against them, and 
it rests with them to prove that there is nothing evil in them. 

"But if any society's obligation be such as to bind its members 
to secrecy, even when rightly questioned by competent author- 
ity, then such a society puts itself outside the limits of ap- 
proval ; and no one can be a member of it and at the same time 
be admitted to the sacraments of the Catholic Church. The 
same is true of any organization that binds its members to a 
promise of blind obedience — to accept in advance and to obey 
whatsoever orders, lawful or unlawful, may emanate from 
its chief authorities; because such a promise is contrary both 
to reason and conscience. And if a society works or plots, 
either openly or in secret, against the Church, or against lawful 
authorities, then to be a member of it is to be excluded from 
the membership of the Catholic Church."* 

The council sent a letter of sympathy to the bishops of Ger- 
many, whose people were then groaning under the May laws. 
The Archbishop of Cologne replied, recounting the difficulties 
of the Church in his own country, and adding : "We congratu- 
late you, venerable brethren in the Lord, because in your repub- 
lic the Church rejoices in the fullness of liberty, so essential 
to her and her due by right Divine." 

• Memorial Volume, Third Plenary Council. 

Created a Cardinal. 

The discerning judgment of Ronie in selecting the Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore to pilot the Third Plenary Council on 
its difficult path was fully sustained by the outcome. Now 
that the council had erased ecclesiastical complexities due to 
the diverse racial and political origin of the American people 
and had given the Church in the United States a complete and 
unified organization on which might be made the impress of a 
truly national character, the field of opportunity immensely 
broadened. Social and economic questions, always the deepest 
which move a nation, were beginning to throb. It was no 
longer true that all Americans might find work. Men were 
crowding to the cities, where stupendous aggregations of cap- 
ital were tightening their grip on the means of employment. 
Labor was organizing to struggle for its own interests; finan- 
cial exploitation threatened panic in the midst of prosperity. 
Immigration was unprecedentedly large. The assimilative 
power of the American Church was to be tested, no less than 
that of the body politic ; for both it was to be a time of trial. 

Cardinal McCloskey died October lo, 1885, having been a 
member of the Church's most exalted council ten years. Arch- 
bishop Gibbons was selected to preach the funeral sermon in 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, on which occasion he thus 
aptly compared the Cardinal and his famous predecessor : 

"McCloskey, meek, gentle, retiring from the world, reminds us of 
Moses with uplifted hands praying on the mountains; Hughes, active, 
bold, vigorous, aggressive, was, as it were, another Joshua fighting iu 
the valley, armed with the Christian panoply of faith, truth, justice." 

When, in time, speculation turned to the choice of a new 
cardinal, it soon became evident that, except for local prefer- 



ences, Archbishop Gibbons was the favorite of prelates and 
people. Friends of Archbishop Corrigan, who had been ele- 
vated from the Bishopric of Newark to the See of New York, 
hoped that he might receive the honor; or that, if a red hat 
were bestowed elsewhere, the representation of America in the 
Sacred College might be increased, and New York, the most 
populous Catholic diocese in the world, might continue to have 
a resident cardinal also. In Boston, the wise and clear-sighted 
Archbishop Williams was considered worthy of the highest 
place in the gift of the papacy. 

Leo XIII, always keenly observant, did not delay his choice 
long. Private advices from Rome soon announced that the 
elevation of Archbishop Gibbons had been finally decided upon. 

When the archbishop heard of these, he exclaimed : 

"Should the report be verified, may God give me, as he gave 
to his servant David, an humble heart, that I may bear the 
honor with becoming modesty and a profound sense of my 
own unworthiness." 

On May i8 he received from Cardinal Jacobini, Papal Secre- 
tary of State, the biglietto, an official document informing him 
of the Pontiff's intention to raise him to the cardinalatial dig- 
nity at the next consistory. 

"The Sovereign Pontiff," wrote Cardinal Jacobini, "wishes 
in a particular manner to attest the high esteem and considera- 
tion he has for the virtues which adorn your Grace, and for the 
many claims you already have on account of your merits, as 
well as to increase the luster of the Metropolitan See of Balti- 
more, first among all the churches of the vast republic of the 
United States, and on that account adorned with the honorable 
title of primatial see."* 

Baltimore has sometimes been compared, in certain rather 
striking aspects, to a European city, and one instance in which 
the parallel might be traced is the warm-hearted interest and 
pride with which the people, as a whole, regard the Catholic 

♦ Letter of Cardinal Jacobini to Archbishop Gibbons, May 4, 1886 (Cathedral 
Archives) . 


archbishopric and the old Cathedral. Perhaps there is in this 
an echo of the story of St. Mary's and the beginnings of the 
American hierarchy in the days of Carroll; but there is no 
doubt that the lofty character of an influential portion of the 
Catholic laity from early times has had much to do with the 
feeling. Governor and mayor, merchant and laborer, talked 
with eagerness of the approaching ceremonial. The novelty 
of seeing in a democratic community the ancient rite of the in- 
vestiture of a cardinal excited popular expectation to a high 
pitch. The city prepared for a fete and wrote the name of 
Gibbons on the roll of its most distinguished sons. 

The consistory at which the new cardinal was created was 
held in Rome June 7 ; twenty-three days later would come the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. 
Would the messengers of the papal court arrive in time for a 
double celebration ? Baltimore began to take an eager interest 
in this also, and lay committees which were making ready for 
a gala occasion redoubled their efforts. 

Monsignor Straniero, the pontifical representative bearing 
the red zuchetta and biretta, accompanied by Count Muccioli, 
of the Noble Guards, and Rev. Thomas S. Lee, rector of the 
Baltimore Cathedral, who had been a guest of the American 
College in Rome, started for Liverpool promptly. 

"Present to Cardinal Gibbons our affectionate paternal bene- 
diction," said Leo to them at parting. "We remember him with 
the most cordial esteem, and believe we could not confer the hat 
on a more worthy prelate. We cordially hope that during his 
cardinalate our most holy faith may be blessed by great in- 
crease of strength among the Catholics of the United States." 

A fast steamer bore the messengers to New York, and they 
landed on American soil June 21. Hurrying by train to Balti- 
more, a large gathering of clergy and laity met them at the 
railroad station. That evening at the archiepiscopal residence, 
on Charles street, Count Muccioli, in clattering sword and bril- 
liant uniform, giving a picturesque reminder of the temporal 


power, presented the red zuchetta to the new prince of the 
Church; and Monsignor Straniero, who bore the biretta to be 
conferred June 30, announced his mission in the presence of a 
distinguished assemblage. 

Prelates, priests and laymen began to crowd into the city 
for the coming event. By the thirtieth nearly the whole Ameri- 
can hierarchy had assembled. On the morning of that day, 
after an ecclesiastical procession, witnessed by an immense 
crowd of people, the venerable Archbishop Kenrick, of St. 
Louis, as the Pontiff's representative, bestowed the red biretta 
on Archbishop Gibbons in the Cathedral, where Mgr. Ken- 
rick's famous brother, then Archbishop of Baltimore, had or- 
dained the young priest a quarter of a century before.* 

In no other American city, and indeed, in few cities of the 
world, can ecclesiastical processions be witnessed comparable 
with those in Baltimore. Though the people are accustomed 
to them, they regard each new one with intense interest. For 
the elevation of their cardinal, a spectacle of this kind unprece- 
dented in the United States was arranged. On account of 
its rarity and picturesqueness, it deserves a brief description. 

First, came a detachment of policemen; then, the proces- 
sional cross-bearer, preceded by a lad bearing an incense urn, 
wafting the perfume to right and left; following were one 
hundred and seventy students of St. Charles College, where 
the new Cardinal as a youth had alternated the classics and 
football. An equal number of seminarians from St. Mary's, 
marching with steady tread, in white surplices, came next; they, 
loo, acclaimed him as an alumnus. Afterward came nearly two 
hundred and fifty of the regular and secular clergy, wearing 
white surplices over their black cassocks ; monsignori, abbots 
and bishops followed in line, preceded by the Capuchin Fathers, 
members of the Benedictine Order, Lazarists, Dominicans, Jes- 
uits and Franciscans. Following the bishops — in a Catholic 
procession the post of honor is always at the end, following the 

• Catholic Mirror, July 3, 1886. 


Biblical rule that "the first shall be last and the last first" — 
came the archbishops. The herculean forms of Ryan and Fee- 
han, clad in episcopal purple, towered above the rest like great 
trees in a forest. Archbishop Kenrick, so feeble that every step 
seemed an effort, tottered along; on his left was Mgr. Straniero, 
the Papal Delegate, bareheaded, and clothed in a purple robe. 
Count Muccioli, the Noble Guard, wore his full uniform. Last 
of all, came the new Cardinal, bearing himself with the simple 
dignity which seemed to fit him like a garment. 

Protestants as well as Catholics reverently uncovered their 
heads as the procession passed through immense crow^ds con- 
gregated on the streets. Within the Cathedral, as this won- 
derful assemblage of the Church passed up the broad aisles, 
was a congregation which included many of the most distin- 
guished men in the cardinal's native city and state. 

Archbishop Williams celebrated pontifical high mass. The 
eloquent Archbishop Ryan was selected to preach the ser- 
mon. His strength as a pulpit orator, no less than his dignity 
and perfect self-possession on public occasions, were never 
more noticeable. With the new Cardinal he was in thorough 
sympathy, not only through the bonds of the closest personal 
friendship, but those of concurrent judgment regarding the 
weighty problems of Church and nation. 

He began by treating the Church as a kingdom, not of this 
world, but "visible, universal and perpetual." "Behold that 
kingdom," he said, "under one king, Jesus Christ, and His 
visible representative on earth, the Sovereign Pontiff, with ju- 
dicial and legislative departments spread throughout the whole 
earth, with more discordant elements than any kingdom that 
ever existed, and yet with more union of action and conviction 
and affection — a kingdom that extends farther than all others, 
and claims the tribute of intellect and heart. Men acknowl- 
edge, indeed, its power and wisdom, and try to account for 
both on purely human theories. Some regard it as the per- 
fection of tlie monarchical system ; others, as a great republic, 


whose officers, from the pope to the humblest abbot, are 
elected by the governed, and whose religious orders are the 
model in great part for our own form of government. But the 
truth is that the Church is, strictly speaking, neither of these, 
nor a wondrous combination of both; but a new and Divine 
institution, a kingdom of God on earth, as the Scripture 
calls it. * * * 

"The simple forms by which a few thousand converted Jews 
were ruled in Jerusalem would be insufficient to govern the 
children of every tribe and tongue and people, numbering over 
two hundred millions, ruled from Rome as a center of unity. 
Hence we find that the Sovereign Pontiff selected a body of 
ecclesiastics in Rome whom he constituted his chief or cardinal 
counselors in the great affairs of his spiritual kingdom. * * * 

"These cardinals form, as it were, a senate of the Church, 
and what a magnificent senate! * * * 'pj^g selection of 
these counselors of the Pope is left to his own judgment; but 
the Fathers of the Council of Trent presumed to suggest that 
the Roman Pontiff select them, as much as possible, out of all 
the nations of the earth, when suitable persons can be found. 
The wisdom of this is evident. The central governing body 
ought to understand thoroughly the peoples whom they gov- 
ern. The present Pontiff, who is remarkable for his knowl- 
edge of the outside world and of the genius of this century, 
has, more than any other, perhaps, acted on this great and 
most wise principle. 

"To the exalted dignity which I have been describing the 
venerated and beloved Archbishop of Baltimore is now pro- 
moted. Providence has fitted him for the position. He is in 
perfect harmony with the spirit of the Church, and can repre- 
sent it to the American people; he is also in entire harmony 
with the spirit of the country, and can represent it in the coun- 
cils of the Church. He knows and- feels that there is no an- 
tagonism between the Catholic Church and our political insti- 

Cardinal Gibbons in Robes as Member of Sacred College 


tiitions; but, on the contrary, she is nowhere on earth today- 
more perfectly at home than in this free land. * * * 

"On this day twenty-five years ago the present Cardinal was 
ordained to the priesthood by the greatest ecclesiastic whom 
the American Church has yet seen — Archbishop Francis Pat- 
rick Kenrick, of this city. Today the brother of that great 
prelate, venerable in years and merits, after traveling over a 
thousand miles, appears in this sanctuary to crown with the 
scarlet of the cardinalate the young priest of that day. The 
former prelate prayed that *God might bless and sanctify and 
consecrate' the prostrate young Levite ; today his brother prays 
that the same God may illumine and fortify the exalted prince 
of the Church. In this Cathedral, where the new Cardinal 
was baptized, officiated as a priest and was consecrated bishop, 
and presided so wisely over the late plenary council, he receives 
today the highest honors of the Church of God. It is an honor 
not only to him, but to the American Church; to this great 
State of Maryland, which. Catholic in its origin, proclaimed 
from the beginning the great doctrine of religious liberty. It 
is an honor to this Catholic and hospitable city of Baltimore, 
and I rejoice to learn that her non-Catholic citizens appreci- 
ate it." 

Mgr. Straniero, in conferring the scarlet biretta, spoke of 
the amazement which the growth of the Catholic Church in 
America had created at Rome. "Its hierarchy," he said, "has 
had scarce one hundred years of existence, and yet it is 
daily growing in splendor, both from its broad increase and the 
great virtues of the venerable men who make up its number. 
Witness those illustrious American prelates returning two years 
ago from Rome, whither they had gone to manifest their ven- 
eration and love toward the See of Saint Peter, and, again, 
when all were gathered at the late council at Baltimore to give 
that shape and life to ecclesiastical discipline and for the care 
of the faithful which existing circumstances required. 


"All this could not escape the provident notice of the Roman 
Pontiff. Consequently, that he might give more proof of his 
fatherly care and love to the faithful of these States, and to 
their chief pastors, he determined to admit another of the 
prominent bishops of America to the Sacred College of Car- 
dinals. Influenced by these motives, the Holy Father, in a 
secret consistory lately held at the Vatican, selected you, most 
eminent prince, who, bearing the dignity of the episcopate, 
have these many years ruled the Church of Baltimore. Your 
writings have been universally read, and all have admired the 
depth of your learning, your zeal, and your many virtues. 
Those who have known you intimately have been deeply im- 
pressed by your remarkable qualities of heart and powers of 
mind. Waiving all else, it is enough for me to recall that 
when the American bishops assembled in plenary council, the 
Roman Pontiff appointed you to preside therein and to dis- 
charge the office of Apostolic Delegate. 

"To your Eminence may God grant a life of many years 
for the service and adornment of the Holy See and the welfare 
of the loving flock entrusted to your care. And as today is, 
moreover, the twenty-fifth anniversary of your ordination to 
the priesthood, on this account also, do I congratulate you. 
From the bottom of my heart I pray that God may grant you 
yet many anniversaries of this day." 

Archbishop Kenrick, addressing the Cardinal, said that the 
honor which had come to him was one which American Cath- 
olics had a right to expect, on account of their number and the 
importance of the Church in the United States. "We also had 
a right to expect it," he continued, " on account of the great- 
ness of our country, the position it occupies among the nations 
of the earth, the influence it is to exert over the future destinies 
of the human race. It is nothing anomalous or contrary 
to the principles of the republic that we should have in our 
midst a cardinal of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and we 
are confident that your appointment will continue to be re- 


garded as it is now regarded — a new element of strength and 
harmony for all. 

"We congratulate your Eminence on your appointment to 
so high an office. It will increase your cares and responsi- 
bilities, but it will also increase your means of usefulness as 
an honored citizen of the republic and a faithful bishop of the 
Church of God." 

The Cardinal responded, in turn, to the addresses of Arch- 
bishop Kenrick and Mgr. Straniero, and then addressed the 
prelates, clergy and laity. He spoke of the associations which 
clustered around the old Cathedral in which they were all as- 
sembled. "Many temples there are," he said, "more spacious 
and stately, indeed, than this; but none in our country which 
has seen within its sanctuary so many illustrious prelates. 
Within these walls were held ten provincial, and the three na- 
tional councils — those of 1852, 1866 and 1884. How often 
has the voice of an England, a Hughes, a McCloskey, a Pur- 
cell, a Fitzpatrick, a McGill and an O'Connor resounded here ! 

"The corner-stone of this Cathedral was laid by the patri- 
arch of the American Church, the immortal Carroll. Arch- 
bishop Neale passed away before its completion; and in that 
chair have sat in luminous succession a Marechal, a Whitfield, 
an Eccleston, a Spalding and a Bayley — great names of imper- 
ishable renown in the annals of the Church in America, 

"Traditions such as these are so many links in the golden 
chain of love which binds your hearts to this ancient see. 
Another strong link which touches, as it were, and gathers up 
all the links that holds us, is the bond that draws us close to 
the See of Peter. I feel assured, therefore, that your hearts 
will go forth with mine in a message of thanks to our beloved 
Pontiff for the event we are celebrating today. It is an honor 
not personal to myself. It is an honor which he confers on 
this venerable see, which you all love so well, and on the whole 
Church in America. It is a signal mark of admiration and 
high esteem for our beloved country, in whose spiritual wel- 


fare from the first day of his accession to the Chair of St. 
Peter he has taken so enhghtened an interest. 

"God raises up men in every age to meet the emergencies of 
the occasion. He has providentially raised up our present 
illustrious Pontiff to meet the special w^ants of these times. 
As the first Leo, by his majestic bearing and fearless eloquence, 
arrested the march of an all-conquering warrior and saved 
Rome from destruction, so has the thirteenth of his great name 
conciliated one of the mightiest empires of modern times, giv- 
ing back peace and liberty to the Church of Germany. He has 
been chosen umpire of two great nations of the eastern world; 
and his impartial decision, gratefully acquiesced in by their 
rulers, has hushed the clamor of strife and restored peace and 

"Never, perhaps, in the history of the Church has the moral 
influence of the papacy been more strongly marked and benefi- 
cently exerted than during the reign of Leo XIII ; never have 
the true relations of church and state been more clearly enun- 
ciated than in his ever-memorable encyclical letter, Immor- 
tale Dei. 

"In no country of all the nations of the earth does he find 
more loyal and devoted spiritual children than among the 
clergy and laity of this free republic. And I am happy to add 
that our separated brethren, while not sharing in our faith, 
have shared in our profound admiration for the benevolent 
character and enlightened statesmanship of the present Su- 
preme Pontiff. 

"Beloved brethren of the laity, I say from my heart of 
hearts that earth has for me no place dearer than the sanctuary 
where I now stand and the diocese which I serve. And how 
could it be otherwise? It was in this Cathedral that I first 
breathed the breath of life as a Christian. At yonder font I 
was regenerated in the waters of baptism. Almost beneath 
the shadow of this temple, in old St. Mary's Seminary, I was 
raised to the dignity of the priesthood by the hands of the 


venerable Archbishop Kenrick, the illustrious brother of him 
from whom I have the honor of receiving the biretta today. 
It was at this very altar that I was consecrated bishop by my 
predecessor and father in Christ, the venerated Spalding. 

"We of this diocese down to the humblest priest hold it an 
honor as well as a duty to labor in the sacred soil of Maryland, 
where your forefathers, two hundred and fifty years ago, 
planted the cross and raised the banner of religious liberty 
and called forth the oppressed of other lands to take their 
shelter beneath its protecting folds. What holy enthusiasm 
should not these memories evoke ! What zeal should they not 
arouse for religion and country! May it be the study of my 
life to walk in the footprints of my illustrious predecessors in 
this ancient see, and in the footprints of the first cardinal 
archbishop in these United States, who has lately passed to his 
reward, and whose sterling merit was surpassed only by his 
modesty and humility. And may it be your good fortune also, 
dearly beloved brethren, to emulate the faith and civic virtues 
of your ancestors, and to hand down that faith and those vir- 
tues untarnished as precious heirlooms to the generations yet 
to be." 

Following the long and magnificent ecclesiastical ceremony, 
there was a dinner at St. Mary's Seminary. The venerable 
institution had suddenly turned red. Bands of cardinal cloth 
adorned the building, and mingled with the American flag 
was the banner of the papacy. The Cardinal, in the brilliant 
robes of his new office, presided at the feast. In front of him 
was an archiepiscopal cross of flowers, and on each side of the 
cross were mitres of white roses. All who could get near him 
were eager to congratulate him. His winning smile and thor- 
ough modesty captivated all. Among priests he could be a 
leader as well as among people. 

At night the seminary was brilliantly illuminated in em- 
blematic designs. Red fire blazed along the streets, and there 
was a parade of Catholic Knights and young men's societies, 


many of them in uniform. Again all Baltimore was out of 
doors to watch; and, characteristically, there was the utmost 
good nature and decorum. 

A purely social touch was given the festivities by a reception 
in the evening to the visiting prelates, given by Miss Emily 
Harper, the granddaughter of Charles Carroll of CarroUton, at 
her home, on Cathedral street, in the center of fashionable Bal- 

At ten o'clock the National Marine Band, then under the 
leadership of the afterwards famous Sousa, serenaded the 
Cardinal at his residence, as a final touch to a memorable day. 
So dense were the throngs in the streets that police had to clear 
a space for the band to approach. The Cardinal appeared at 
his famous bay-window, where he was instantly recognized, 
and the multitude broke into resounding cheers. Men threw 
their hats in the air, and women waved their handkerchiefs. 
It was almost like a candidate for the Presidency addressing a 
great mass-meeting in the height of an American political cam- 
paign. Attired in his red cassock, partly covered by a black 
robe, the center of all eyes, the Cardinal walked out on the por- 
tico of the building when quiet had been restored and briefly 
expressed his thanks, concluding with a prayer for a blessing 
on all. Amid another deafening din, he retired, and the 
throngs dispersed. 

The next day, with many of the visiting prelates, the Car- 
dinal attended the annual commencement of St. Charles Col- 
lege, where thirty-one years before, a youth just from New 
Orleans, he had pursued his classical studies in preparation for 
the priesthood. He spoke with affection of the memories of 
those days and the panorama of life since. "With respect to the 
references made in the course of the addresses here to our 
Sovereign Pontiff, Leo XIII," he said, "I wish to say in all 
simplicity and sincerity that the predilection he has appeared 
uniformly to evince toward me and the favorable appreciation 
he has made of what I have been able to do in the cause of 


religion, has been a constant source of embarrassment to me in 
his presence and of wonder when distant from him." 

The devoted interest which the Cardinal had always taken 
in education wherever his lot happened to be cast had made him 
a prime favorite among the teaching orders. Such an occasion 
as his elevation to the Sacred College could not be permitted 
by them to pass unnoticed. A large body of the Christian 
Brothers, representing the Province of Baltimore, visited him 
at his residence and presented an address, printed on satin, ac- 
companied by a sum of money in a silk purse made by the 
Sisters of St. Mary's Orphan Asylum. Brother Azarias, of 
Rock Hill College, known throughout the English-speaking 
world as a literary critic in the front rank, read the address, 
expressing their thankfulness at his interest in and zeal for 

In such congenial company, the Cardinal responded from the 
fullness of his heart. "It is a source of inexpressible satis- 
faction to us," he said, "to feel the most perfect assurance of 
how free from friction are the relations of the Catholic Church 
and the giant republic of the West. It proves the elasticity, 
if we may so speak, of Catholic doctrine. It proves that it is 
Catholic indeed, and has the capacity to adapt itself to all that 
is good in the many forms of governments and persons. 
Breathing the pure air of liberty, the Church expands with its 
finest strength, and grows in beauty and power. 

"We would find yet more occasion to approve and love it if 
we could contrast its state here with its condition in other 
countries less happy in their government and laws. Here the 
government extends over us the segis of equal laws without in- 
terfering with the just rights of any. 

"How much can you not accomplish, dear brothers, in that 
spirit of self-sacrifice displayed by you on so many fields of 
untiring effort! We see around us now the monuments of 
those labors in the many young men reared in the faith, in 


intelligence and learning, fitted for the duties of citizenship, 
making them noble representatives of the State of Maryland. 
You carry out the principles of your founder, or rather, of the 
Gospel, for, after all, everything must be referred to the Gos- 
pel. The secret of your success is found in humility, piety and 
intelligence; they form a triple cord which cannot be broken. 
Acting upon these principles in molding the minds, hearts and 
souls of youth, you do more than the great artists, whose 
genius brought out those beautiful images in marble or on 
canvas which have for centuries been the admiration and 
delight of every land and people. 

"It is not a slight debt that this archdiocese and this great 
city of Baltimore — the first great field of your labors in this 
country — owe you. The clergy have experienced the benefit 
of your labors. You have many reasons to be proud of your 
mission in this archdiocese, for that mission is the high one 
of instilling virtue into young hearts and training their minds 
in knowledge." 

By the press of the United States, that potent pilot of public 
opinion in which many foreign observers have found the real 
governing power of the country, the elevation of Cardinal 
Gibbons was commended with practical unanimity. Protestant 
as well as Catholic newspapers discussed it at length, express- 
ing their sense of the honor done the whole United States, 
as well as that portion of it embraced within the Cath-^lic 
Churcfi. Cardinal Gibbons had not yet risen to the full height 
of his popularity; but already some knowledge of the traits 
which distinguished him as a man and a prelate had penetrated 
every part of the country. The newspapers saw in his selec- 
tion for the Sacred College a recognition of the most pro- 
gressive tendencies in the American Church and a hopeful 
sign of the complete understanding of the United States by the 
leaders of the Church in Europe. They felt that as an Ameri- 
can bv birth, training and public experience, no less than by 
sympathy and aspiration, he was well fitted to represent this 


country in the highest councils at Rome. The favor with 
which he was regarded by Leo XIII was hailed as an augury of 
benefit to America. 

The venerable Leo was then well past three score and ten; 
and none could foresee the remarkable age to which Provi- 
dence was destined to^pare him. 


Speech in Rome on the Relations Between Church and 
State in the United States. 

Rome was the next step. From the hand of the Supreme 
Pontiff alone could the new Cardinal receive the red hat, and 
there, among his brethren of the Sacred College, his words 
and acts would be fraught for the first time with the weight of 
a prince speaking to princes in the world-wide council of the 
Church. Would he remain only a national figure, of whom it 
would be said that he was a leader among a new people, but in 
the ancient forum of the pontificate had no mission to humanity 
as a whole? It was the greatest test he had yet been called 
upon to meet. 

He left Baltimore January 26, 1887, accompanied by his 
chancellor. Rev. P. J. Donahue, afterward Bishop of Wheeling, 
and by his consultors — Revs. John S. Foley, Thomas S. Lee, 
John T. Gaitley, A. L. Magnien and J. A. Walter. New dem- 
onstrations of popular esteem marked his departure from New 
York, and in Paris he was extensively entertained. Arriving 
in Rome, he became the center of an influential American rep- 
resentation there assembled, including Mgr. O'Connell, then 
rector of the American College; Archbishop Ireland, Bishop 
Keane and others. Among such churchmen he was at home 
as leader and friend. 

Conferences with the Pope ensued, at which conditions in 
America were discussed ; and on St. Patrick's Day, at a public 
consistory in the Sala Regia, the Pontiff bestowed the hat and 
ring and performed the ceremony of sealing and opening the 



Archbishop Taschereau, of Quebec, was elevated at the 
same time, as were several European cardinals. To Cardinal 
Gibbons was committed, as his titular church, the ancient edifice 
of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the first temple raised in the 
world in honor of the Mother of Christ. 

Standing in this church, March 25, 1887, the past and the 
future met. It was the day of his installation. He wore the 
scarlet cassock, signifying that he would defend the faith even 
to the shedding of his blood, as in the days when Christians 
were thrown to the lions in the Colosseum, not far distant. Sur- 
rounding him was the centuried magnificence of architecture, 
painting, statue, mosaic. The long ceremonial eloquently 
typified the story of Christianity from the era of Constantine, 
through the glories of Charlemagne, the brilliancy of the Ital- 
ian renaissance and the reconstruction of modern Europe. It 
was carried out with the precise formalism of early Rome and 
in the majestic tongue in which martyrs praised God as they 
went to their death. The atmosphere was rich with incense 
and quivered with reverent music. Vestment and altar bespoke 
antiquity. It was an occasion to overpower the senses, to 
hush the voice of the present in the great shadow of the accu- 
mulated grandeur and wisdom of the past. 

All this must have profoundly affected the American Car- 
dinal as he stood in his gorgeous robes while bishops, canons 
and priests performed their parts. He had not intended to 
make an address, beyond the brief responses necessary to his 
participation in the ceremony. But a few days before Mgr. 
O'Connell had suggested to him that he should speak on such 
an occasion, and he had coincided in this view. The Cardinal 
spoke as follows : 

"The assignment to me by the Holy Father of this beautiful 
basilica as my titular church fills me with feelings of joy and 
gratitude which any words of mine are inadequate to express. 
For, as here in Rome I stand within the first temple raised in 
honor of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, so in my far-off home, 


my own Cathedral Church, the oldest in the United States, is 
also dedicated to the Mother of God. This venerable edifice 
in which we are gathered leads us back in contemplation to the 
days of the catacombs. Its foundation was laid by Pope Ca- 
lixtus in the year of our Lord, 224. It was restored by Pope 
Julius in the fourth century, and renovated by another Supreme 
Pontiff in the twelfth. 

"That never-ceasing solicitude which the Sovereign Pontiffs 
have exhibited in erecting these material temples, which are 
the glory of this city, they have also manifested on a larger 
scale in rearing spiritual walls to Zion throughout Christen- 
dom in every age. Scarcely were the United States formed 
into an independent government, when Pope Pius VII estab- 
lished a Catholic hierarchy and appointed the illustrious John 
Carroll the first Bishop of Baltimore. Our Catholic commu- 
nity in those days numbered a few thousand souls, and they 
were scattered chiefly through the States of New York, Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland. They were served by a mere handful 
of priests. But now, thanks to the fructifying grace of God, 
the grain of mustard seed then planted has grown to a large 
tree, spreading its branches through the length and breadth of 
our fair land. Where only one bishop was found in the begin- 
ning of this century, there are now seventy-five exercising 
spiritual jurisdiction. For this great progress we are indebted, 
under God and the fostering vigilance of the Holy See, to the 
dvil liberty we enjoy in oiir enlightened republic. 

"Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, in his luminous encyclical on 
the constitution of Christian states, declares that the Church is 
not committed to any form of civil government. She adapts 
herself to all. She leavens all with the sacred leaven of the 
Gospel. She has lived under absolute monarchies, under con- 
stitutional monarchies, in free republics, and everywhere she 
grows and expands. She has often, indeed, been hampered in 
her Divine mission. She has even been forced to struggle for 
her existence wherever despotism has cast its dark shadow, 


like a plant shut out from the blessed light of heaven. But in 
the genial atmosphere of liberty she blossoms like a rose. 

"For myself, as a citizen of the United States, and without 
closing my eyes to our shortcomings as a nation, I say, with a 
deep sense of pride and gratitude, that / to a country 
where the civil government holds over us the cegis of its pro- 
tection, without interfering with us in the legitimate exercise 
of our sublime mission as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. 
Our country has liberty zvithout license, and authority zuithout 
despotism. She rears no wall to exclude the stranger from 
among us. She has few frowning fortifications to repel the 
invader, for she is at peace with all the world. She rests se- 
cure in the consciousness of her stength and her good will 
toward all. Her harbors are open to welcome the honest emi- 
grant who comes to advance his temporal interests and find a 
peaceful home. 

"But, while we are acknowledged to have a free government, 
perhaps we do not receive the credit that belongs to us for 
having, also, a strong government. Yes, our nation is strong, 
and her strength lies, under the overruling guidance of Provi- 
dence, in the majesty and supremacy of the law, in the loyalty 
of her citizens and in the affection of her people for her free 
institutions. There are, indeed, grave social problems now 
employing the earnest attention of the citizens of the United 
States, but I have no doubt that, with God's blessing, these 
problems will be solved by the calm judgment and sound sense 
of the American people, without violence or revolution, or any 
injury to individual right. 

"As an evidence of his good will for the great republic in 
the West, as a mark of his appreciation of the venerable hier- 
archy of the United States, and as an expression of his kind 
consideration for the ancient See of Baltimore, our Holy 
Father has been graciously pleased to elevate its present incum- 
bent, in my humble person, to the dignity of the purple. For 
this mark of his exalted favor I beg to tender the Holy Father 


my profound thanks in my own name and in the name of the 
clergy and faithful. I venture to thank him also in the name 
of my venerable colleagues, the bishops, as well as the clergy 
and Catholic laity of the United States. / presume also to 
thank him in the name of our separated brethren in America, 
who, though not sharing our faith, have shown that they are 
not insensible — indeed, that they are deeply sensible — of the 
honor conferred upon our common country, and have again 
and again expressed their admiration for the enlightened states- 
manship and apostolic virtues and benevolent character of the 
illustrious Pontiff who now sits in the Chair of St. Peter."* 

The speech was read in Europe and America with intense in- 
terest. It was characteristically American, they said in Rome. 
Here was a cardinal, barely out of his first consistory, daring 
to assert, in the very citadel of the Church, that separation in 
the United States did not mean hostility by the state to the 
Church, but protection, and that in the air of perfect free- 
dom, unhampered by political bonds, the Church could work 
out her Divine mission better; that union of church and 
state often meant interference, and that American liberty 
meant the opportunity to win men to the faith free from the 
vexations of human complications. The message which the 
Cardinal had sought to convey, as he often said, was that 
"our duty is to preach the Gospel and save souls;" that it is 
wisest to separate entirely the ministry of Christ from poli- 
tics, unless some great moral question is involved; that this 
course is better for the Church everywhere. He felt that in 
time comprehension of the American system would grow at 
Rome; but some one must be considered radical in launching 
the first ofiicial declaration of it, and he did not shrink from 
fulfilling this trying mission. 

In the twentieth century, Europe understands America as 
never before, and not only tolerates, but imitates it in many 

* CathoUc Mirror, April 2, 1887. 



things. Two great influences have chiefly contributed to this : 
The speech of Cardinal Gibbons in the Church of Santa Maria 
in Trastavere,and the victories of theUnited States navy in the 
Spanish-American War. The turning point v^as in getting the 
world to understand that liberty in America does not mean 
license; nor authority, despotism. Rome, the center of Cath- 
olic thought, was the best place in which to plant the idea, and 
Europe rubbed its unwilling eyes and saw. 


Knights of Labor Question. 

When the new Cardinal was boldly raising his voice for 
the institutions of his country in the ancient Church of Santa 
Maria in Trastevere, he had but recently penned a document 
which had the remarkable effect of causing the Congregation 
of the Holy Office — the "inquisition" — to reverse its attitude 
of opposition to the Knights of Labor. Foremost of the 
"grave social problems" to which he had alluded in that ad- 
dress and in the settlement of which he had expressed his 
complete faith, was the labor question. Mr. Cleveland was 
then President, and both the Executive and Congress were 
principally concerned with the urgent demands of labor. The 
law against bringing workingmen under contract from abroad 
had just been passed; the Interstate Commerce Act, a meas- 
ure almost forced on the Government by labor organizations, 
and an extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act, were being 
debated and were soon to be adopted. The Administration 
had committed itself to the establishment of a Department of 
Labor as a unit in its executive system at Washington. The 
anarchist riots in Chicago, with their bloody climax, had 
shocked the nation but a few months before. 

European pessimism, not yet fully awake to the truth, began 
to predict the downfall of America. It was believed that a 
government which maintained a standing army scarcely large 
enough to man its coast defenses, and a navy which at that time 
was archaic, could not withstand the shock of a popular tumult. 
Political equality, it was feared, had no corrective within 
itself for a sudden rising from the bottom. If the laborer were 
the equal of the capitalist before the law, would he not rave in 



an orgy of unrestrained power as soon as he was able to com- 
prehend what his opportunities really meant? In the earlier 
days of the United States the labor question had adjusted 
itself. There was land enough for all; work for every hand; 
the laborer of today became the millionaire of tomorrow. 
Capital was unorganized, and labor had felt no special need 
to band together for its own protection. 

In the carnival of energy which had subdued half of a vast 
continent in a century, building teeming cities on virgin soil and 
establishing new Commonwealths in bewildering succession 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, men had been too busily 
employed in constructive labor to debate the ethics of the 
problem. But the work had now advanced far, and there was 
time to pause. Railroads spanned the continent and radiated 
in every direction. Civilization had carried its banner up the 
Rocky Mountains and to the shores of the Golden Gate. The 
army of workingmen was still here, but there was not so much 
work to do. Nearly all the lands opened by the Government 
to free settlement had been taken up. The economic pendulum 
was beginning to swing, and times of scarcity succeeded eras 
of plenty. 

American workingmen were not prepared for this. They were 
no more ready to meet a sudden economic change than were 
the rural colonists to face the mouths of British cannon in 
1775. Anarchy, imported from Europe, had found here what 
its apostles believed to be fertile soil for the propagation of its 
ideas. Socialism swept across the ocean and began its preach- 
ments in the great cities. The genus tramp, in some respects 
peculiarly an American development, was spreading the cult 
of idleness and the industrial code of the leech. The tariff 
laws had built up vast industries, whose captains controlled 
politicians and legislatures. Before them dangled the gilded 
prize of monopoly, and in a short time a few men were begin- 
ning to aggregate to themselves the lion's share of the fruits of 
the earth. 


It was now possible for the first time in the United States 
for one man to raise his hand and thousands would be without 
bread. Workingmen might crowd to the polls, intoxicated 
with the dreams of the Declaration of Independence, and find 
their ballots nullified by the insidious influences of corrupting 
wealth. At heart, the body politic was healthy; these were 
merely sores that did not reach the organism, though they 
grievously affected the surface. In time, their poison might 
penetrate to the heart. None could tell. It might be that once 
again men would take arms in their hands to work out the 
problems of a free government amid the crash of battle. 

The growth of labor organizations in America in the decade 
preceding the election of President Cleveland had surpassed 
anything of the kind which the world had known. Wrongs 
needed a remedy; half uncertain, the toilers banded together to 
act, if they could find a way. Chief among these organizations 
was the Knights of Labor, a secret order which, from a small 
beginning, had suddenly increased its membership by tens of 
thousands, and, like a great storm-cloud, overspread the po- 
litical as well as industrial structure of the country. Its head, 
Terence V. Powderly, seemed to the toiling masses a Peter the 
Hermit called to lead them on a new crusade. Bearing the 
modest title of "general master workman," he wielded greater 
power than the Governor of a State. He possessed many of 
the traits of successful leadership, and was inspired by a fer- 
vent belief in the justice of his cause. Men thronged from the 
workshops to hail him when he went from city to city, pro- 
claiming his evangel. In 1886 the order had a membership of 
500,000, "although," as Mr. Powderly said to a committee of 
Congress, "we have been credited with 5,000,000."* 

Simultaneously with this movement, Henry George's eco- 
nomic theories were fast winning converts, particularly in New 
York, his home, where the influence of his powerful person- 
ality was naturally strongest. 

• Carroll D. Wright, Industrial Evolution of the United States, p. 248. 


In Canada the ecclesiastical authorities adjudged the Knights 
a forbidden organization, and the Holy Office sustained the 
condemnation. They were classed with secret societies work- 
ing against religion. Under the decrees of the Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, they could be condemned in the United 
States only by unanimous action of the archbishops; and, in 
case the archbishops disagreed, the question was to be referred 
to Rome. The critical aspect of the problem made action im- 
perative ; Mr. Powderly, himself a Catholic, came to Baltimore 
several times and conferred wath Cardinal Gibbons; on one 
occasion he appeared before a committee of the archbishops at 
a meeting at the Cardinal's house and pleaded the cause of the 
Knights. He offered to amend any order or rule of the or- 
ganization to which the ecclesiastical authorities might object. 
The obligation of secrecy, he pointed out, was a simple pledge 
and not an oath. Its purpose was to keep the knowledge of 
the organization's business from enemies or strangers, and it 
was not such as to hinder Catholics from manifesting every- 
thing to competent ecclesiastical authority, even outside of 
confession. When the archbishops came to consider the ques- 
tion, only two out of twelve — Kenrick, of St. Louis, and Sal- 
pointe, of Santa Fe — voted for condemnation. 

In his consideration of this grave question. Cardinal Gibbons 
conferred with President Cleveland, and was in active corre- 
spondence with Cardinal Manning, his close friend, the Church's 
apostle of labor in England. He found both in full sympathy 
with his own views, and Cardinal Manning was ready to assist 
actively in the program to which he had resolved to commit 
himself — to urge the Holy Office not to forbid the organization 
of the Knights. By not a few who were unable to see in ad- 
vance of the moment, his views were considered too far-reach- 
ing. The Knights were even regarded as socialistic; and, in 
truth, they might have become such had a program of repres- 
sion been adopted against them. 


Rome heard the echoes of these doubts and fears, and the 
delicate susceptibilities of conser\^atives were jarred by the 
assertion that Cardinal Gibbons had turned radical and was 
attempting to engraft his views on the Church. This cloud of 
misunderstanding made his task all the more difficult. He ex- 
plained his views fully in several interesting letters to Cardinal 
Manning,* who fully concurred with him and rejoiced to find 
his own ideas on the relations between capital and labor shared 
by one occupying such a distinguished position in the Church 
in the United States. Manning considered that Cardinal Gib- 
bons was doing a great and needed work in America in advanc- 
ing the position of the laboring classes, and wished ardently 
that he might have as much success in England. 

Several bishops in France, and not a small number of Cath- 
olic writers, expressed alarm at the advanced and liberal views 
of these two eminent men. The element in England which 
was unable to understand thoroughly the great purposes of 
Cardinal Manning was also willing to cry, "Beware!"; but in 
America, as the task of Cardinal Gibbons developed and the 
real significance of what he was doing came to be more clearly 
seen, the general tone of comment, in and out of the Church, 
was one of praise and enthusiastic support. 

When Cardinal Gibbons sailed for Europe in January, 1887, 
to receive the red hat, a part of his mission was to present the 
plea of organized labor. The atmosphere which he was about 
to enter was hostile to his views on this question. One of 
his companions on the voyage was Cardinal Taschereau, on 
whom also the red hat was to be bestowed and who was going 
to urge adherence to the judgment condemning the order in 
Canada; while to Cardinal Gibbons fell the far more difficult 
task of appealing to Rome to recognize the order as one not to 
be forbidden. 

He presented his views vigorously in the Eternal City, with 
the active assistance of Archbishop Ireland, Bishop Keane and 

• Purcell. Life of Cardinal Manning, Vol. II, pp. 650-51. 


Monsignor O'Connell. Under date of February 20, 1887, he 
addressed to Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of the Propaganda, for 
presentation to the Holy Office a report on the whole subject, 
which was marked by broad statesmanship, searching logic and 
enlightened foresight — perhaps the strongest document he ever 

This letter, a milestone in the Church's journey toward the 
hearts of the American people, is of sufficient importance to be 
quoted in full. Following is the translation of it as published 
in the Moniteur de Rome, the official organ of the Vatican.* 

"To His Eminence Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation 
of the Propaganda: 

"Your Eminence — In submitting to the Holy See the conclusions 
which, after several months of attentive observation and reflection, seem 
to me to sum up the truth concerning the association of the Knights of 
Labor, I feel profoundly convinced of the vast importance of the conse- 
quences attaching to this question, which is but a link in the great 
chain of the social problems of our day, and especially of our country. 

"In treating this question I have been very careful to follow as my 
constant guide the spirit of the encyclical letters, in which our Holy 
Father Leo XIII has so admirably set forth the dangers of our times 
and their remedies, as well as the principles by which we are to recog- 
nize associations condemned by the Holy See. Such was also the guide 
of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in its teachings concerning 
the principles to be followed and the dangers to be shunned by the faith- 
ful either in the choice or in the establishment of those various forms of 
association toward which the spirit of our popular institutions s-d 
strongly impels them. And, considering the evil consequences that 
might result from a mistake in the treatment of organizations whicli 
often count their members by thousands and hundreds of thousands, the 
council wisely ordained (n. 225) that, when an association is spread 
over several dioceses, not even the bishop of one of these dioceses shall 
condemn it, but shall refer the case to a standing committee consisting of 
all the archbishops of the United States ; and even these are not author- 
ized to condemn, unless their sentence be unanimous; and in case they 
fail to agree unanimously, then only the supreme tribunal of the Holy 
See can impose a condemnation ; all this in order to avoid error and 
confusion of discipline. 

• A copy of the letter in French is In the Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


"This committee of archbishops held a meeting towards the end ct 
last October, at which the association of the Knights of Labor was 
specially considered. To this we were not impelled by the request of 
any of our bishops, for none of them had asked it ; and I must add that 
among all the bishops we know of but two or three who desire the con- 
demnation. But our reason was the importance attached to the ques- 
tion by the Holy See itself, and this led us to examine it with all possi- 
ble care. After our deliberations, the result of which has already been 
communicated to the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda, only two 
out of the twelve archbishops voted for condemnation ; and their reasons 
were powerless to convince the others of either the justice or the pru- 
dence of such a condemnation. 

"In the following considerations I wish to state in detail the reasons 
which determined the vote of the great majority of the committee — 
reasons whose truth and force seem to me all the more evident after 
this lapse of time; nor will I fail to do justice to the arguments 
advanced on the other side: 

"1. In the first place, though there may be found in the constitution, 
laws and official declarations of the Knights of Labor things that we 
would not approve, still, we have failed to find in them those elements 
so clearly pointed out by the Holy See, which would class them among 
condemned associations : 

"(a) In their form of initiation there is no oath. 

"(b) The obligation to secrecy by which they keep the knowledge of 
their business from enemies or strangers is not such as to hinder Catho- 
lics from manifesting everything to competent ecclesiastical authority, 
even outside of confession. This has been positively declared to us by 
their chief officers. 

"(c) They make no promise of blind obedience. The object and laws 
of the association are distinctly declared, and the obligation of obedience 
does not go beyond them. 

"(d) They not only profess no hostility against religion or the 
Church, but their declarations are quite to the contrary. The third Ple- 
nary Council commands (n. 254) that condemnation shall not be passed 
on any association without the previous hearing of its officers or repre- 
sentatives. Now, their president, when sending me a copy of their consti- 
tution, declared that he is a devoted Catholic ; that he practices his reli- 
gion faithfully and receives the sacraments regularly; that he belongs to 
no Masonic society or other association condemned by the Church ; that 
he knows nothing in the organization of the Knights of Labor contrary to 
the laws of the Church; that, with filial submission, he begs the pastors 
of the Church to examine their constitution and laws, and to point out 


anything they may find objectionable, promising to see to Its correction. 
Assuredly, there is in all this no hostility to the authority of the Church, 
but, on the contrary, a disposition in every way praiseworthy. After 
their convention, held last year in Richmond, he and several of the 
principal members, devout Catholics, made similar declarations concern- 
ing the action of that convention, the documents of which we expect 
to receive shortly. 

"(e) Nor do we find in this organization any hostility to the authority 
and laws of our country. Not only does nothing of the kind appear in 
their constitution and laws, but the heads of our civil government treat 
with respect the cause which such associations represent. The President 
of the United States told me personally, a few weeks ago, that he then 
had under consideration a proposed law for the amelioration of certain 
social grievances, and that he had had a long conversation on these 
topics with Mr. Powderly, the President of the Knights of Labor. The 
Congress of the United States, in compliance with the views presented by 
President Cleveland in his annual message, Is at presenj: engaged in 
framing measures for the improvement of the condition of the laboring 
classes, in whose complaints they acknowledge that there is a great deal 
of truth. And our political parties, far from considering them the ene- 
mies of tiie country, vie with each other in championing the evident 
rights of the workingmen, who seek not to resist or overthrow the laws, 
but only to obtain-just legislation by constitutional and legitimate means. 

"These considerations, which show that in these associations those 
elements are not to be found which the Holy See has condemned, lead 
us to study, in the second place, the evils which the association contends 
against and the nature of the conflict. 

"2. That there exist among us, as in all other countries of the world, 
grave and threatening social evils, public injustices which call for strong 
resistance and legal remedy, is a fact which no one dares to deny — a fact 
already acknowledged by the Congress and the President of the United 
States. Without entering into the sad details of these evils, whose full 
discussion is not necessary, I will only mention that monoplies, on the 
part of both individuals and of corporations, have everywhere called forth 
not only the complaints of our working classes, but also the opposition 
of our public men and legislators; that the efforts of monopolists, not 
always without success, to control legislation to their own profit, cause 
serious apprehensions among the disinterested friends of liberty; thnt 
tue heartless avarice which, through greed of gain, pitilessly grinds not 
only the men, but even the women and children in various employments, 
makes it clear to all who love humanity and justice that it is not only 
the right of the laboring classes to protect themselves, but the duty of 



the whole people to aid them in finding a remedy against the dangers 
with which both civilization and social order are menaced by avarice, 
oppression and corruption. 

"It would be vain to dispute either the existence of the evils, or the 
right of legitimate resistance, or the necessity of a remedy. At most, 
a doubt might be raised about the legitimacy of the form of resistance 
andtorthe remedy employed by the Knights of Labor. This, then, is the 
next point to be examined. 

"3. It can hardly be doubted that, for the attainment of any publK' 
end, association — the oi'ganizatiou of all interested — is the most effica- 
cious means — a means altogether natural and just. This is so evident, 
and besides, so comformable to the genius of our country, of our essen- 
tially popular social conditions, that it is unnecessary to insist upon It. 
It is almost the only means to public attention, to give force to the most 
legitimate resistance, to add weight to the most just demands. 

"Now, there already exists an organization which presents innumera- 
ble attractions and advantages, but with which our Catholic workingmen, 
filially obedient to the Holy See, refuse to unite themselves ; this is the 
Masonic Order, which exists everywhere in our country and which, as 
Mr. Powderly has expressly pointed out to us. unites employers and em- 
ployed in a brotherhood very advantageous to the latter, but which num- 
bers in its ranks hardly a single Catholic. Nobly renouncing advantages 
which the Church and conscience forbid, our workingmen join associa- 
tions in no way in conflict with religion, seeking nothing but mutual pro- 
tection and help, and the legitimate assertion of their rights. Must they 
here also find themselves threatened with condemnation, hindered from 
their only means of self-defense? 

"4. Let us now consider the objections made against this sort of 
organization : 

"(a) It is objected that in such organization, Catholics are mixed 
with Protestants, to the peril of their faith. Naturally, yes ; they are 
mixed with Protestants at their work ; for, in a mixed people like ours, 
the separation of religious creeds in civil affairs is an impossibility. 
But to suppose that the faith of our Catholics suffers thereby is not to 
know the Catholic working men of America, who are not like the 
working men of so many European countries — misguided children, es- 
tranged from their Mother, the Church, and regarding her with sus- 
picion and dread — but intelligent, well-instructed, and devoted Catholicj', 
ready to give their blood, if necessary, as they continually give their 
hard-earned means, for her support and protection. And, in fact, it is 
not here a question of Catholics mixed with Protestants, but rather 
that Protestants are admitted to share in the advantages of an associa- 


tlon, many of whose members and officers are Catholics ; and, In a 
country like ours, their exclusion would be simply impossible. 

"(b) But it is asked, instead of such an organization, could there not 
be confraternities, in which the working men would be united under the 
direction of the clergy and the influence of religion? I answer frankly 
that I do not consider this either possible or necessary in our country. 
I sincerely admire the efforts of this sort which are made in countries 
where the working people are led astray by the enemies of religion ; but, 
thanks be to God, that is not our condition. We find that in our country 
the presence and direct influence of the clergy would not be advisable 
where our citizens, without distinction of religious belief, come together 
in regard to their industrial interests alone. Short of that, we have 
abundant means for making our working people faithful Catholics; and 
simpl? good sense advises us not to go to extremes. 

"(c) Again, it is objected that, in such organizations, Catholics arc 
exposed to the evil influences of the most dangerous associates, even 
of atheists, communists and anarchists. That is true; but it is one of 
those trials of faith which our brave American Catholics are accustomed 
to meet almost daily, and which they know how to face with good sense 
and firmness. The press of our country tells us, and the president of 
the Knights of Labor has related to us, how these violent, aggressive 
elements have endeavored to control the association, or to inject poison 
into its principles; but they also inform us with what determination 
these machinators have been repulsed and beaten. 

"The presence among our citizens of those dangerous social elements, 
which have mostly come from certain countries of Europe, is assuredly 
for us an occasion of great regret and of vigilant precautions; it is a 
fact, however, which we have to accept, but which the close union be- 
tween the Church and her children which exists in our country renders 
comparatively free from danger. In truth, the only thing from which we 
would fear serious danger would be a cooling of this relationship be- 
tween the Church and her children; and I know nothing that would 
be more likely -to occasion it than imprudent condemnations. 

"(d) A specially weighty charge is drawn from the outbursts of 
violence, even to bloodshed, which have accompanied several of the 
strikes inaugurated by labor organizations. Concerning this, three 
things are to be remarked — first, strikes are not an invention of the 
Knights of Labor, but a means almost everywhere and always resorted 
to by the working classes to protect themselves against what they con- 
sider injustice, and in assertion of what they believe to be their just 
rights; secondly, in such a struggle of the poor and indignant multi- 
tudes against hard and obstinate monopoly, outbursts of anger are al- 


most as inevitable as they are greatly to be regretted ; thirdly, the laws 
and the chief authorities of the Knights of Labor, far from encouraging 
violence or the occasions of it, exercise a powerful influence to hinder it, 
and to retain strikes within the limits of good order and of legitimate 

"A careful examination of the acts of violence accompanying the 
struggle between capital and labor last year leaves us convinced that it 
would be unjust to attribute them to the association of the Knights of 
Labor ; for this association was but one among the numerous labor 
organizations that took part in the strikes, and their chief ofBcers used 
every possible effort, as disinterested witnesses testify, to appease the 
anger of the multitudes, and to hinder the excesses which, therefore, 
in my judgment, could not justly be attributed to them. Doubtless, 
among the Knights of Labor, as among the thousands of other working 
men, there are to be found passionate or even wicked men who have 
committed inexcusable deeds of violence, and have instigated their as- 
sociates to the same; but to attribute this to the association would, it 
seems to me, be as unreasonable as to attribute to the Church the 
follies or the crimes of her children against which she strives and 

"I repeat that, in such a struggle of the great masses of the people 
against the mail-clad power which, as it is acknowledged, often refuses 
them the simple rights of humanity and justice, it is vain to expect 
that every error and every act of violence can be avoided ; and to dream 
that this struggle can be hindered, or that we can deter the multitudes 
from organizing, which is their only hope of success, would be to ignore 
the nature and forces of human society in times like ours. Christian 
prudence evidently counsels us to hold the hearts of the multitudes by 
the bonds of love, in order to control their actions by the principles of 
faith, justice and charity ; to acknowledge frankly what is true and just 
in their cause, in order to deter them from what is false and criminal, 
and thus to turn into a legitimate, peaceable and beneficent contest 
what might easily, by a course of repulsive severity, become for the 
masses of our people a dread volcanic force like unto that which society 
fears and the Church deplores in Europe. 

"Upon this point I insist strongly, because, from an Intimate acquaint- 
ance with the social conditions of our country, I am profoundly convinced 
that here we are touching upon a subject which not only concerns the 
rights of the working classes, who ought to be especially dear to the 
Church which our Lord sent forth to preach His Gospel to the poor, but 
with which are intimately bound up the fundamental interests of the 


Church and of human society for the future. This is a poiut which T 
desire, in a few additional words, to develop more clearly. 

"5. Whoever meditates upon the ways in which divine Providence is 
guiding mankind in our days can not fail to remark how important is 
the part which the power of the people takes in shaping the events of 
the present, and which it is evidently destined to take in molding the 
destinies of the future. We behold, with profound regret, the efforts of 
the prince of darkness to make this power dangerous to the social weal 
by withdrawing the masses of the people from the influence of religion, 
and impelling them towards the ruinous paths of license and anarch3'. 
Hitherto our country has presented a spectacle of a most consolingly 
different character — that of a popular power regulated by love of good 
order, respect for religion, by obedience to the authority of the laws; not 
a democracy of license and violence, but that true democracy which aims 
at the general prosperity through the means of sound principles and 
good social order. 

"In order to preserve so desirable a state of things it is absolutely 
necessary that religion should continue to possess the affections and 
thus rule the conduct of the multitudes. As Cardinal Manning has well 
written, 'A new task is before us. The Church has no longer to deal 
with Parliaments and princes, but with the masses and with the people. 
Whether we vyill or no, this is our work; we need a new spirit and a 
new law of life.' To lose influence over the people would be to lose the 
future altogether; and it is by the heart, far more than by the under- 
standing, that we must hold and guide this immense power, so mighty 
either for good or for evil. 

"Among all the glorious titles which the Church's history has deserved 
for her there is not one which at present gives her so great influence as 
that of 'Friend of the People.' Assuredly, in our democratic country, it 
Is this title which wins for the Catholic Church not only the enthusiastic 
devotedness of the millions of her children, but also the respect and 
admiration of all our citizens, whatever be their religious belief. It is 
the power of this title which renders persecution almost an impossibility, 
and which draws towards our Holy Church the great heart of the 
American people. 

"And since it is acknowledged by all that the great questions of the 
future are not those of war, of commerce or of finance, but the social 
questions — the questions which concern the improvement of the condition 
of the great popular masses, and especially of the working people — it is 
evidently of supreme importance that the Church should always be found 
on the side of humanity — of justice towards the multitudes who compose 
the body of the human family. As the same Cardinal Manning has 


wisely written, 'I know I am treading on a very difficult subject, but 
I feel confident of this, that we must face it. and that we must face it 
calmly, justly, and with a willingness to put labor and the profits of 
labor second — the moral state and domestic life of the whole working 
population first. I will not venture to draw up such an act of Parlia- 
ment further than to lay down this principle. * * * These things 
(the present condition of the poor in England) can not go on; these 
things ought not to go on. The accumulation of wealth in the land, tho 
piling up of wealth like mountains, in the possession of classes or indi- 
viduals, can not go on. No Commonwealth can rest on such foundations.' 
(Miscellanies, Vol. 2, p. 81.) 

"In our country, above all, this social amelioration is the inevitable 
programme of the future, and the position which the Church should 
hold towards it is surely obvious. She can certainly not favor the ex- 
tremes to which the poor multitudes are naturally inclined; but, I 
repeat, she must withhold them from these extremes by the bonds of 
affection, by the maternal desire which she will manifest for the con- 
cession of all that is just and reasonable in their demands, and by the 
maternal blessing which she will bestow upon every legitimate means 
for improving the condition of the people. 

"fi. Now let us consider for a moment the consequences which would 
inevitably follow from a contrary course — from a course of want of 
sympathy for the working class, of suspicion for their aims, of ready 
condemnation for their methods. 

"(a) First, there would be the evident danger of the Church's losing, 
in popular estimation, her right to be considered the friend of the people. 
The logic of the popular heart goes swiftly to its conclusions, and this 
conclusion would be most pernicious both for the people and for the 
Church. To lose the heart of the people would be a misfortune for 
which the friendship of the few rich and powerful would be no com- 

"(b) There would be a great danger of rendering hostile to the 
Church the political power of our country, which has openly taken sides 
with the millions who are demanding justice and the improvement of 
their condition. The accusation of being un-American — that is to say, 
alien to our national spirit — is the most powerful weapon which thn 
enemies of the Chiirch can employ against her. It was this cry whicii 
aroused the Know-Nothing persecution thirty years ago, and the same 
would be used again if the opportunity offered. To appreciate the 
gravity of this danger it is well to remark that not only are the rights 
of the working classes loudly proclaimed by each of our two great politi- 
cal parties, but it is not improbable that, in our approaching national 


elections, there will be a candidate for the office of President of the 
United States as the special representative of the popular complaints 
and demands. 

"Now, to seek to crush by an ecclesiastical condemnation an organiza- 
tion which represents more than 500,000 votes, and which has already 
so respectable and so universally recognized a place in the political 
arena, would, to speak frankly, be considered by the American people 
as not less ridiculous than rash. To alienate from ourselves the friend- 
ship of the people would be to run great risk of losing the respect 
which the Church has won in the estimation of the American nation, 
and of forfeiting the peace and prosperity which form so admirable :i 
contrast with her condition in some so-called Catholic countries. Angry 
utterances have not been wanting of late, and it is well that we should 
act prudently. 

"(c) A third danger — and the one which most keenly touches our 
hearts — is the risk of losing the love of the children of the Church, and 
of pushing them into an attitude of resistance against their Mother. 
The world presents no more beautiful spectacle than that of their filial 
devotion and obedience; but it is well to recognize that, in our age and 
in our country, obedience can not be blind. We would greatly deceive 
ourselves if we expected it. Our Catholic working men sincerely believe 
that they are only seeking justice, and seeking it by legitimate means. 
A condemnation would be considered both false and unjust, and, there- 
fore, not binding. We might preach to them submission and confidence 
in the Church's judgment; but these good dispositions could hardly go 
so far. They love the Church, and they wish to save their souls ; but 
they must also earn their living, and labor is now so organized that 
without belonging to the organization, it is almost impossible to earn 
one's living. 

"Behold, then, the consequences to be feared. Thousands of the 
Church's most devoted children, whose affection is her greatest comfort, 
and whose free offerings are her chief support, would consider them- 
selves repulsed by their Mother and would live without practicing their 
religion. Catholics who have hitherto shunned the secret societies 
would be sorely tempted to join their ranks. The Holy See, which hi's 
constantly received from the Catholics of America proofs of almost un- 
paralleled devotedness, would be considered not as a paternal authority, 
but as a harsh and unjust power. Surely these are consequences whicJi 
wisdom and prudence counsel us to avoid. 

"7. But, besides the dangers that would result from such a condemna- 
tion, and the impracticability of putting it into effect, it is also very 
important that we should carefully consider another reason against 


condemnation, arising from tlie unstable and transient character of tlie 
organization in question. It is frequently remarked by the press and by 
attentive observers that this special form of association has in it so 
little permanence that, in its present shape, it is not likely to last many 
years. Whence it follows that it is not necessary, even if it were just 
and prudent, to level the sole condemnations of the Church against so 
evanescent an object. The social agitation itself will, indeed, last as 
long as there are social evils to be remedied; but the forms of organiza- 
tion meant for the attainment of this end are naturally provisional and 
short-lived. They are also very numerous, for I have already remarked 
that the Knights of Labor is only one among many labor organizations. 
"To strike, then, at one of these forms, would be to commence a war 
without system and without end ; it would be to exhaust the forces of the 
Church in chasing a crowd of changing and uncertain spectres. Tli3 
American people behold with perfect composure and confidence the prog- 
ress of our social contest, and have not the least fear of not being able to 
protect themselves against any excesses or dangers that may occasionally 
arise. Hence, to speak with the most profound respect, but also with 
the frankness which duty requires of me, it seems to me that prudence 
suggests, and that even the dignity of the Church demands, that wy 
should not offer to America an ecclesiastical protection for which she 
does not ask, and of which she believes she has no need. 

"8. In all this discussion, I have not at all spoken of Canada, nor of 
the condemnation concerning the Knights of Labor in Canada ; for we 
would consider it an impertinence on our part to meddle with the eccle- 
siastical affairs of another country which has an hierarchy of its own, 
and with whose social conditions we do not pretend to be acquainted. 
We believe, however, that the circumstances of a people almost entirely 
Catholic, as in lower Canada, must be very different from those of a 
mixed population like ours; moreover, that the documents submitted to 
the Holy Office are not the present constitution of the organization in 
our country, and that we, therefore, ask nothing involving an incon- 
sistency on the part of the Holy See, which passed sentence 'localiter et 
juxta exposita.' 

"It is of the United States that we speak, and we trust that we arc- 
not presumptuous in believing that we are com])etent to judge about the 
state of things in our own country. Now, as I have already indicated, 
out of the seventy-five archbishops and bishops of the United States, 
there are about five who desire the condemnation of the Knights ot 
Labor, such as they are in our own country; so that our hierarchy 
are almost unanimous in protesting against such a condemnation. Such 
a fact ought to have great weight in deciding the question. If there are 


difficulties in the case, it seems to me that the prudence and experience 
of our bishops and the wise rules of the Third Plenary Council ought 
to suffice for their solution. 

"Finally, to sum up all, it seems to me that the Holy See could not 
decide to condemn an association under the following circumstances : 

"1. When the condemnation does not seem to be justified either by 
the letter or the spirit of its constitution, its law and the declaration of 
Its chiefs. 

"2. When the condemnation does not seem necessary, in view of the 
transient form of the organization and the social condition of the United 

".3. When it does not seem to be prudent, because of the reality of 
the grievances complained of by the working classes, and their acknowl- 
edgment by the American people. 

"4. When it would be dangerous for the reputation of the Church in 
our democratic country, and might even lead to persecution. 

".". When it would probably be inc., caciovs, owing to the general con- 
viction that it would be unjust. 

"6. When it would be destructive Instead of beneficial in its effects, 
impelling the children of the Church to disobey their Mother, and even 
to enter condemned societies, which they have thus far shunned. 

"7. When it would turn into suspicion and hostility the singular 
devotedness of our Catholic people towards the Holy See. 

"8. When it would be regarded as a cruel blow to the authority of 
bishops in the United States, who, it is well known, protest against such 
a condemnation. 

"Now. I hope that the considerations here presented have sufficiently 
shown that such would be the effect of condemnation of the Knights of 
Labor in the United States. 

"Therefore, I leave the decision of the case, with fullest confidence, 
to the wisdom and prudence of your Eminence and the Holy See. 

"J. Caed. Gibbons, 

"Archbishop of Baltimore." 
Rome, February 20, 1S87. 

The report, as will be observed from its perusal, was a 
complete exposition of the labor question involved in the 
organization of the Knights and an analysis of the rela- 
tion between the Church and the social and economic situa- 
tion in the United States. The principles and methods of 
the order were the same in the United States as in Canada; but 


with an adroitness which he knew well how to use when occa- 
sion warranted it, the Cardinal gave the Holy Office an open- 
ing for reversing itself by pointing out differences in the gen- 
eral conditions of the two countries. In person, as well as by 
formal appeals, he carried his case to the other members of 
the Curia. In the face of what seemed like a stone wall of 
opposition, his aggressiveness was aroused. He made an ener- 
getic appeal to the commissary of the Holy Office, declaring 
vehemently that he would hold him responsible for the loss of 
.souls in America through his attitude; at the end of this 
interview, that important official promised to consider the 
question. Only those hostile to the Knights had previously 
been heard at Rome. Opinion, fixed and deliberate, had to be 
assailed in its powerful citadel. Cardinal Gibbons boldly de- 
clared that if the condemnation were allowed to stand, it would 
be ruinous to the financial support of the church in the United 
States; that it would turn into doubt and hostility the marked 
devotion of the people to the Holy See, and would lessen the 
contribution of Peter's pence. 

The Cardinal's letter to the Propaganda had not been in- 
tended for the public eye ; but a newspaper correspondent hav- 
ing contrived to get possession of a copy, it was published in 
America and Europe. The Cardinal was surprised one day to 
receive cablegrams of congratulation from home, and in a 
short time learned that the argument he had framed for the 
Curia alone was a theme of discussion throughout the world. 

The case was won. Not only did Rome decide not to forbid 
the organization of the Knights in the United States, but the 
l)an was lifted in Canada. Labor rejoiced that it had gained a 
signal victory ; the Church was still the champion of the poor. 
Said the Monitcttr de Rome: 

"TTIs Emlnonco's docnmont hns been widely commented npon by the 
nowspnpers thronchont the United Stntes. They have unanimously 
reoosnl'/o<T in It not only n preat benefit conferred npon the millions of 
workingmen who compose the preat mass of people In America and in 


every other country, but ;ilso a victory for the Catholic Church, which, 
iu showing itself the friend of the people, naturally secures their 
affections. * * * As a matter of course, a few journals — organs of 
the monopolies — have uttered their protests; but their voice has scarcely 
been heard amid the general applause." 

England echoed the acclamation. "I have read with great 
assent," Cardinal Manning wrote, "Cardinal Gibbons' docti- 
ment in relation to the Knights of Labor. The Holy See will, 
I am sure, be convinced by his exposition of the state of the 
new world. I hope it will open a new field of thought and 
action. * * * The Church is the mother, friend and pro- 
tector of the people. As the Lord walked among them, so 
his Church lives among them."* 

In the acuteness of the labor question at the time, Cardinal 
Gibbons' declaration was criticised and lampooned in some 
quarters. Puck caricatured him as imparting a blessing, with 
uplifted hands, to a body of riotous working people pursuing a 
non-union man. He faced denunciation and received praise 
with equal calmness. The tumult was soon stilled and the ad- 
justment of the relations of labor and capital proceeded, for 
the most part, on natural and orderly lines. 

Throughout the remainder of his pontificate Leo retained 
vividly the views of the labor question which Cardinal Gibbons 
had helped to impress upon him. He rejoiced at the oppor- 
tunity to put the Church in touch with the times on this prob- 
lem of vast and fundamental importance to the spread of re- 
ligion among the working people of America and Europe. 
His mature thought was embodied in an encyclical on "The 
Condition of Labor," which he addressed to the bishops of the 
Catholic world a few years later. Considering the subject 
from its elements, he warmly defended the dignity of labor, 
as Cardinal Gibbons had done before him; dwelt upon the 
Christian interdependence of capital and labor, and argued 

• Taylor, The Cardinal Democrat, p. 180. 


that no perfect solution of this question would ever be found 
without the assistance of religion and of the Church, 

Dealing with the cult of the Socialists, who were beginning 
to carry local elections in Europe, and who even threatened to 
gain control of several governments by alliance with wings of 
other political parties, he declared that they were working on 
the poor man's envy of the rich and were endeavoring to de- 
stroy private property. He pronounced their proposals clearly 
futile for all practical purposes, and held that if they were car- 
ried out, the workingman himself would be among the first to 
suffer. More than that, he found them emphatically unjust, 
because they would rob the lawful possessor, bring the state 
into a sphere not its own and cause complete confusion in the 

The Church, he set forth, was not so occupied with the spir- 
itual concerns of her children as to neglect their temporal inter- 
ests. Her desire was that the poor should rise above poverty 
and wretchedness. Christian morality was the key to the situ- 
ation ; i f practiced by employer and employee, it would always 
find part of its expression in the attitude of the state toward 
social questions. While the state should safeguard private 
property, it should also protect the rights of the laborer, and 
special consideration was due to the poor as the weaker mem- 
bers of every community. He warned against the employ- 
ment of child labor, and emphasized the moral obligation rest- 
ing on employers to pay fair wages. Both employers and em- 
ployees, he held, had a right to combine, and it was highly im- 
portant that workingmen should multiply their associations. In 
lawful combinations for their own betterment, he found not 
only justice, but an imperative necessity, if workingmen were 
to improve their condition. As far as practicable, he desired 
these organizations founded on the principles of religion. He 
instructed the bishops to take into their purview the condition 
of labor in their dioceses, and, without interfering with the 
state, to aid the workingmen in every lawful way to promote 


their own just interests without resorting to violence and with- 
out recourse to revohitionary doctrines, which, by upsetting the 
foundations of the world's economic system, would bring suf- 
fering upon themselves.* 

• Enej-clieal letter of Leo XIII., May t"., isni (CatKedral Archlvfts). 

Early Years of Cardinalate. 

After the almost fierce conflict of the winter in Rome, Car- 
dinal Gibbons found relaxation in a leisurely trip homeward, 
studying the religious, social, economic and political condition 
of the countries through which he passed. In Paris he was 
the guest of the Sulpicians, who had founded in Baltimore the 
first seminary for the training of American priests and thus 
laid the foundation of a native priesthood. Another stop was 
made at the University of Louvain, and in May he was the 
guest of Cardinal Manning in London. In Manning's study, 
the workshop of a marvelous mind, he found the floor char- 
acteristically piled high with books and strewn with papers; 
and these two eminent champions of human rights passed de- 
lightful hours together. The English Cardinal often spoke, 
even in ordinary conversation, with a precision of logic that 
was almost resistless, and his conclusions struck with the force 
of a battle axe. For this compressed and formal habit of 
thought, the easy graces and ready versatility of Cardinal 
Gibbons were an admirable foil. 

Manning again congratulated him, as he had done in writ- 
ing, on the victory in the Knights of Labor question. They 
found common ground in the belief that the time had come 
when the dynasty of the masses, and not of the classes, was 
ruling, and ought to rule; that public opinion was the domi- 
nating force of the enlightened world, and that in the atmos- 
phere of freedom the great results of the future were to be 
worked out. They talked of the dignity and rights of labor; 
agreed that social betterment must come from the bottom, 
rather than the top; and that the Church, as the friend of the 



helpless, the champion of the poor, must be in touch with the 
spirit of the age and continue to prove the universahty of her 
mission. Naturally akin in sympathy and view, these two 
had been drawn closer by the struggles through which they 
had passed, and each was an inspiration to the other. 

Cardinal Gibbons had long been interested in missionary 
work among the negroes, and he took advantage of his visit 
to England by studying the methods of the Josephite Fathers, 
at Mill Hill College, near London, where students are trained 
for this field. He spent part of two days at Mill Hill, care- 
fully observing the work of the college, and made an address 
to the students, expressing great gratification at what was 
being done. Cardinal Manning entertained him at dinner 
with a company which included Canon Benoit, rector of Mill 
Hill, and other persons deeply interested in the conversion of 
the negroes. 

Cardinal Gibbons had particularly good opportunities for 
studying the condition of the colored race in the United States. 
Most of his life had been spent in the South; and his experi- 
ence in North Carolina during Reconstruction times had given 
him additional light on this momentous problem. While al- 
ways regretting that the slavery question, or any other ques- 
tion, should be worked out by the Bismarckian treatment of 
blood and iron, he felt and frequently expressed a deep and 
benevolent sympathy for the negro race in its unfortunate 
position of contiguity with the superior whites. Like almost 
all Americans, he was glad to see slavery abolished in the 
end; but he viewed with alarm the consequences of thrusting 
the ballot into the hands of millions of black men, unfitted by 
history or training to comprehend its meaning. The best 
solution of the negro question, he felt, was in diffusing among 
the race the gentle and uplifting influence of Christianity, 
training the character as a groundwork and building upon this 
as much of the superstructure of education as it might be 
found possible to add with benefit. He felt that the whole 


problem in its aspects at that time was social rather than 
political ; that the negro must be trained to habits of industry 
and thrift, to understand the sacred relations of family life and 
of duty as a member of the community, however humble. 

He had shared at no time the expectations of extremists, 
who had believed the negro capable of developing in a few 
years what the white race had obtained by centuries of sacri- 
fice, toil and evolution. But, since the blacks were here, and 
since as far as men of his generation could foresee, they would 
remain in the United States indefinitely, they must be consid- 
ered as a weak and helpless people to whom the ministrations 
of religion were more necessary than to the stronger race. He 
did not know how far it would be wise to extend the plan of 
ordaining negro priests for work among their own kind; but 
he felt that the special character of the negro's needs required 
a priesthood particularly trained for supplying them. 

The fathers of Mill Hill welcomed with enthusiasm the deep 
and discriminating interest which he showed in their work 
and.its possible extension to America. Soon after his return* 
his investigations bore fruit in the opening of Epiphany Apos- 
tolic College, an institution of the Josephites in Baltimore, 
founded as an offshoot of Mill Hill, and since the nucleus of a 
successful work. 

The Cardinal sailed from Queenstown, arriving in New 
York June 4, 1887. A Baltimore committee, including the 
venerable Monsignor McManus and other friends from among 
the clergy, gave him a warm welcome at the steamer. He tar- 
ried a few days in New York, where he celebrated pontifical 
mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and was greeted by a host of 
visitors; and then proceeded, on June 7, to Baltimore, whose 
committees were in a fever of final preparation for a public 

As the train arrived at Union Station, the streets were 
thronged with an acclaiming crowd, as if it were a municipal 

November, 1889. 


festival.* Mayor Hodges, Charles J. Bonaparte, a grand- 
nephew of Napoleon I, and a guard of honor greeted him in 
behalf of the city. 

The Mayor could not permit the opportunity to pass without 
eulogizing one who had conferred so much honor upon Balti- 
more abroad. "Your gradual rise from the ranks of the 
people," he said, "to scholarship, usefulness and popularity, 
and then to eminence, and now to pre-eminence, although 
achieved within the ecclesiastical division of life, is so thor- 
oughly an American experience that every self-made man, and 
others who admire meritorious advancement, must regard your 
promotion as well earned and well deserved. Those of your 
fellow-townsmen whose religious faith is in harmony with 
your own, and who are justly proud of the successful adminis- 
tration of this ancient see for nearly one hundred years, are 
doubtless gratified to know that you are so worthy a suc- 
cessor of the eight illustrious primates, from Carroll to Bayley, 
who preceded you as archbishops of Baltimore. They are also 
gratified to know that you are qualified by learning, good 
works and religious zeal to be a member of the Sacred Col- 
lege of Rome. * * * p^^y American citizens during their 
visits to Europe have been welcomed with more sincere cor- 
diality or made more agreeable impressions on the people they 
met than you have; and as this effect was produced by the 
exercise of a rare congenial intelligence. Christian piety, 
moral worth and gentleness of manner and speech, it is rea- 
sonable to surmise that it will be lasting." 

Mr. Bonaparte, a leader of the laity, expressed the joy of 

The Cardinal was, naturally, full of emotion at such an 
earnest and overwhelming tribute. His warmth of heart 
and the closeness of his ties with the people among whom his 
lot had been cast made neighborliness one of the most pro- 
nounced traits of his disposition. No matter how great might 

• Catholic Mirror, June 11, 188T. 


be the problems engrossing his mind and occupying his labors, 
he could turn from these to the purely personal side of his life 
with a simplicity that was no less charming than rare among 
men whose work is mingled with so much of the formalism of 
the world. As he gazed out upon the great crowd he could 
see men of his own faith, who had often knelt when he cele- 
brated the mass; men of other faiths, who greeted him on the 
street, in public halls where they met for a common purpose, 
in the pleasant diversions of social gatherings, and all of 
whom were proud to call him friend as well as leader. 

He began his response to the addresses by saying that he was 
overcome by a sense of gratitude for this "splendid ovation 
and this great outpouring of the clergy and people of Balti- 
more, M^ho have come to bid me welcome on my return to the 
city which I love so well." It had always been his disposi- 
tion to shrink from public demonstrations, and on several pre- 
vious occasions of his return from Rome he had uniformly 
declined them; "but," he added, "there are times and circum- 
stances — and the present is one of them — when the individual 
is sunk in his representative capacity, and personal prefer- 
ences should yield to the wishes of others. 

"I thank you most cordially, Mr. Bonaparte, for the beauti- 
ful and chaste address you have delivered in the name of the 
Catholics of Baltimore, and I have to thank you also, honored 
Mayor, for your excellent remarks, which I appreciate the 
more as you stand before me as the highest representative of 
the city and speak for the entire community, without reference 
to religion or nationality. I beg to assure you both, and the 
citizens of Baltimore, that the beautiful sentiments of kind- 
ness and fraternity you have so well expressed are most 
heartily reciprocated on my part. 

"While traveling in Italy and on the Continent it was al- 
ways a source of pleasure to me to meet someone who spoke our 
mother tongue; still more gratifying to me was it when I saw 
one who hailed from America ; but how great was my delight 


when I had the pleasure of meeting one who could claim 
Baltimore as his home! Your kindness will bind me still 
more strongly, if that is possible, to my fellow-citizens, and 
to this city, where I was born, where Providence has cast my 
lot, and where I hope to die." 

Greetings being over, the Cardinal took his place in a pro- 
cession which stretched from the station to the archiepis- 
copal residence, a mile distant. With this long escort he pro- 
ceeded, in a handsome carriage, surrounded by a guard of 
honor selected from the members of Catholic societies. Com- 
panies of religious knights in handsome uniforms, city officers 
in carriages and divisions of organizations from all parts of 
the city took part in the parade. Red badges were every- 
where ; and as the guest of honor passed, bowing and smiling, 
like a President of the United States at his inauguration, the 
crowds on the streets, in characteristic fashion, raised their 
hats in respectful salute. 

Arriving at the archiepiscopal residence, there was a brief 
interval, and then the Cardinal entered the Cathedral, where, 
after prayer, the Vicar-General, Mgr. McColgan, made an 
address on behalf of the clergy. He spoke of the services 
wnich the Cardinal, their bishop, had performed for religion 
while in Rome, and of their gratitude for the honors which 
had come to him. "You have exposed to the view of Euro- 
pean nations," said the Monsignor, "the blessings which civil 
and religious liberty bestow on the citizens of America, where 
the rights of all are guaranteed, where political and social dis- 
tinctions are open to all, where freedom reigns for all without 
license, and authority is recognized and maintained without 
despotism. Your patriotic love for your native country has 
obtained for you a national character. Your memory, like 
that of the illustrious Carroll, first Archbishop of Baltimore, 
will be treasured and enshrined in the hearts of your people." 

Again the Cardinal felt the touch of personal association, 
for no bishop was ever closer to his clergy than he. 


"Since my departure from Baltimore," he said in reply, "I 
have, indeed, received marked favors in the countries through 
which I have passed. In Rome and throughout Italy, in 
France, Belgium, Holland, Scotland and Ireland, many kind 
attentions have been shown me, which I shall never forget; 
but, while fully appreciating the courtesies which have been 
paid me in foreign lands, I value immeasurably more than all 
the words of greeting which have fallen from your lips. For 
what would a father care for all the honors that might be lav- 
ished upon him abroad, were he not revered and loved by his 
own children and in his own household?" 

On the Sunday following, at the services in the Cathedral, 
the Cardinal spoke in detail of his European trip.* Fresh 
from contact with Leo XIII, he naturally thought first of that 
pontiff, who had inspired and upheld him in the trying circum- 
stances through which he had passed. 

"Though he is deprived of his temporal possessions," said 
the Cardinal, "it can be safely said that today he exercises 
more power over the civilized world than any king or poten- 
tate; and, although he has no military force to back him, his 
words are more conducive to peace than the actions of all 
the standing armies of Europe. In his case it can be truly 
said that his voice is mightier than the sword. He enjoys the 
love of two hundred and fifty million of Catholics, scattered 
throughout the length and breadth of the world; and he has 
the respect and esteem, of our separated brethren, who have 
not failed to recognize his many personal virtues, his benevo- 
lent character, and his broad, statesmanlike views. He has a 
special regard for this republic of ours and the citizens of the 
United States, which was amply demonstrated during my 
sojourn in Rome. At the time there was a large number of 
Americans in the city, all of whom very naturally wished to 
see the Holy Father. I mentioned the fact to him at the first 
opportunity, and in reply he said he would, indeed, be much 

• Catholic Mirror, June 18, 1887. 


pleased to see them. When the visitors were afterward pre- 
sented, they were charmed by his presence and went away 
favorably impressed with all that he had said and strengthened 
with God's benediction upon them. Another illustration of 
his love for Americans was shown on Easter Tuesday, when 
all the cardinals then in Rome paid their respects to his Holi- 
ness. He took that occasion to again speak of his great love 
for this country." 

The Cardinal proceeded to describe in colloquial fashion to 
his congregation his experiences in some of the countries of 
Europe which he visited. At Louvain he had been impressed 
with the strength of its ancient university, and within him had 
been born the wish that the new university at Washington 
would some day be its equal. Speaking at a time when the 
skies of labor in the United States were full of clouds, when 
men accustomed to think calmly and speak judiciously were 
predicting that those clouds might break into a terrible storm, 
he expressed without hesitation his own clear faith that the 
people would be equal to the responsibilities thrust upon them. 

"Wliatever may be the grievances of the laboring classes 
here," he said, "I believe our men are better paid, better 
clothed, better housed and have fairer prospects than those of 
any other nation I have visited. * * * As we all have 
a share in the blessings of the republic, so should we all take 
an active and loyal part in upholding the Commonwealth, 
which gives liberty without license and wields authority with- 
out despotism. The man who would endeavor to undermine 
the laws and institutions of this country deserves the fate of 
those who laid profane hands on the Ark of the Lord. There 
are some misguided men in our country — thank God, they are 
very few — who are appropriately called anarchists and nihi- 
lists. They are so infatuated, not to say ungrateful to their 
country, that, like Samson, they would fain pull down the 
constitutional temple which shelters them, even though they 
should perish in the ruins. May Almighty God, by whom 


rulers reign and lawgivers decree just things, preserve our 
country for the peace and prosperity of our generation and for 
the happiness of countless peoples yet unborn!" 

Seeing not the slightest conflict between allegiance to church 
and allegiance to country, he alluded to a sight he had recently 
witnessed in the parade held in his honor — the flags of the 
United States and of the papacy carried by marching Ameri- 
cans. "I always wish to see those two flags lovingly en- 
twined," he said, "for no one can be faithful to God without 
being faithful to his country. 'Render unto Csesar the things 
that are Caesar's, and to God, the things that are God's.' " 

It had not been customary for Catholic prelates to take part 
in civic events in America. During the first century of the 
nation's existence this would have been misunderstood, and at 
times would have been positively dangerous. But when Phila- 
delphia decided to celebrate in 1887 the centennial of the 
American Constitution, it was felt that the occasion would be 
Incomplete without Cardinal Gibbons, so strong a place had he 
won in the afifections of the nation. He was invited to ofifer 
the closing prayer on September 17, the anniversary of the 

President Cleveland, his Cabinet and a host of distinguished 
men were there. Many of these the Cardinal knew personally, 
and others were eager to meet the churchman who had done 
so much for his country at home and abroad. His red robe, 
an unfamiliar sight in America, invested his presence among 
the crowds with a half-mystic interest; and they found that it 
covered a man as typically American as any, alert, active, 
patriotic to the core, sharing keenly the enthusiasm and pride 
in the institutions of the country. 

His prayer was based on one written by Archbishop Carroll, 
and was modified to suit the occasion. It was as follows :* 

"We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom 
authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted and judgment de- 

• Catholic Mirror, September 24, 1887. 


creed, to assist with Thy holy spirit of counsel and fortitude the Presi- 
dent of these United States, that his administration may be conducted 
in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he 
presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion, by a faith- 
ful execution of the laws in justice and mercy, and by restraining vic3 
and immorality. 

"Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Con- 
gress and shine forth in all their proceedings and laws framed for our 
rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, 
the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety 
and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal 

"We pray Thee for all judges, magistrates and other officers who are 
appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled by 
Thy powerful protection to discharge the duties of their respective 
stations with honesty nnd ability. 

"We pray Thee especially for the judges of our Supreme Court, thr^t 
they may interpret the laws with even-handed justice. May they ever 
be the faithful guardians of the temple of the constitution, whose con- 
struction and solemn dedication to our country's liberties we commem- 
orate today. May they stand as watchful and incorruptible sentinels at 
the portals of this temple, shielding it from profanation and hostile 

"May this glorious charter of our civil rights be deeply imprinted on 
the hearts and memories of our people. May it foster in them a spirit 
of patriotism ; may it weld together and assimilate in national brother- 
hood the diverse races that come to seek a home amongst u:}. May tUu 
reverence paid to it conduce to the promotion of social stability and 
order, and may It hold the aegis of its protection over us and generations 
yet unborn, so that the temporal blessings which we enjoy may be 

"Grant, O Lord, that our republic, unexampled in the history of the 
world in material prosperity and growth of population, may be also, 
tinder Thy over-ruling providence, a model to all nations in upholding 
liberty without license, and in wielding authority without despotism. 

"Finally, we recommend to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren 
and fellow-citizens throughout the United States, that they may be 
blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most 
holy law, that they may be preserved in union and in that peace which 
the world can not give, and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be 
admitted to those which are eternal. 


"Our Father, who art lu Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy king- 
dom come; Thy will be done, on earth, as It is in heaven; give us this 
day our daily bread, and foi'give us our trespasses, as we forgive those 
who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver 
us from evil. Amen." 

At the conclusion of the prayer the Cardinal invoked a bene- 
diction in the following words : 

"May the blessings of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 
descend upon our beloved country and upon all her people, and abide 
with them forever. Amen." 

He had never visited the fast-developing West, which, ac- 
cording to the signs of the times, was about to take on far 
greater importance in the outlook of the United States and 
the Church. With something akin to eagerness, he accepted 
the invitation to confer the pallium at Portland, Ore., on 
Archbishop Gross, his long-time friend, "born nearly in the 
same street," as he said, and a brother of that faithful priest, 
Rev. Mark S. Gross, with whom he had shared privations and 
labors in North Carolina. As a student of history, he felt 
that such a large portion of his country, in whose beginnings 
adventurous missionary priests had performed such heroic 
service, should share in eminent degree the benefits of Catholic 
effort in its fuller development along the pathways of civiliza- 
tion and material progress. Was not a cardinal of the Roman 
Church at home in the country watered by the great river 
which De Soto had discovered and named in honor of the 
Holy Ghost ; which Marquette and Joliet, boldly trusting them- 
selves to an Indian canoe, had explored for thousands of miles 
and dedicated to the Immaculate Conception ; which Hennepin 
had ascended to the falls he had named in honor of St. An- 
thony of Padua? Was he not at home in the new States 
created from the vast region which Coronado had penetrated 
with his adventurous Spaniards, carrying the cross and cele- 
brating the mass on prairie and desert and by the sides of 


great rivers which flowed into the still greater "Father of 

In the whole region won from Mexico, the Catholic Church 
retained the affections of the people. Germans, Irishmen and 
Italians, and the peoples of other European countries who had 
been children of the Church in the land of their birth, were 
helping to make the prairies blossom with their industry, and 
mine and factory rang with the sound of their labor. 

The Church would follow them, as, centuries before, she had 
gone in advance of them. She would try to train them to build 
American homes to take the places of those w^hich they had 
had left in Europe. Some day a thousand men would dwell 
where one now cultivated a township farm or ranged his cattle 
over half a county. A city would grow where a house now 
stood ; and men with a mission to the whole nation would arise 
from among the sons of these pioneers, who as yet toiled only 
at the foundations of what, as far as human foresight w^ent, 
would one day be a magnificent structure. 

Above all, the Cardinal desired that these new peoples, tak- 
ing root in new soil, should one day be homogeneous with 
their brothers in the forests of Maine and the cotton fields of 
Louisiana. If America were to integrate instead of disinte- 
grate, these people must be one — not one in individuality, but 
sharing a common respect for the rights of others, a com- 
mon faith in the perpetuity of their institutions, in the liberty 
which gave every man a chance, a common aspiration for a 
greater America, that would be an example and a blessing to 
the remainder of the world. Whatever their origin, all were 
now brothers in the citizenship of the same great republic. 
While treasuring the memory of the brave stocks from which 
they sprang; while never forgetting the good that w^as behind 
them, yet, their future would be in the United States ; and no 
trace of antagonism, of racial differences, of political ideals 
born in diverse surroundings must prevent the consummation 
of their proper destiny. 


In the Cardinal's view, the foreigner who was populating 
the West must be brought as rapidly as possible into intimate 
touch with his new environment; must be made to feel that 
his children would look to the men of '76 as the authors of 
the political system under which they lived, a system of free 
Commonwealths, retaining local self-government in a large 
sense, and yet bound by unity of purpose and a common aim 
for the realization of a grand destiny. Assimilation was, 
after all, one of the most vital problems to be solved by Ameri- 
cans of the last half of the nineteenth century and the begin- 
ning of the twentieth. It would never do for the people of 
European nationalities that were pouring over here in thou- 
sands to cling together longer than might be necessary to 
enable them to adapt themselves to new conditions. They 
might be Germans by ancestry, as were thousands of the first 
citizens of the growing West ; they might be Italians, Swedes 
or Poles; but the work of the Church, no less than of the 
political authorities, must be to make them, as soon as possible, 

All Americans were foreigners by descent, except the In- 
dians reduced to the helpless condition of wards of the nation; 
but had all retained the spirit born in other lands, had there 
been a clash of systems instead of a union of thought, America 
would never have gotten far in the realization of the possi- 
bilities opened by the devoted men who had explored it, point- 
ing the way to the peoples who were to come in the future 
generations. The Catholic Church, which had been the guide of 
most of the new-comers, in which they had been baptized and 
taught, in which they had found the means of access to Divine 
truth — this Church could perform a great service to the nation 
by leading them forward to that community of language, social 
custom and political idealism which were essential to their 
own welfare and the nation's safety. 

Leaving Baltimore late in September, Cardinal Gibbons 
went to Chicago, where he was the guest of Archbishop Fee- 


han; then to Milwaukee, a center of German Catholicism, 
where he was entertained by Archbishop Heiss. The city of 
St. Paul, the see of Archbishop Ireland, his ardent champion, 
was busy with preparations to receive him. A great reception 
was given there September 20, and a banquet was held, at 
which the Archbishop spoke in 'eulogy of his distinguished 
guest.* The tone of all the speeches was one of pride in the 
new Cardinal as an American citizen and a prince of the Cath- 
olic Church. Judge William L. Kelly, speaking for the laity, 
recalled what had happened only recently at Philadelphia. 

"But yesterday," he said, "at the invitation of your fellow- 
citizens, irrespective of religious faith or poHtical association, 
you, priest, archbishop, cardinal, raised your hand above the 
assembled multitudes and, in the name of your sacred office, 
invoked the blessing of Almighty God upon the Constitution of 
these United States. In that particular, illustrious sir, your 
voice, it seems to me, was not merely that of the priest, but of 
the prophet of God as well. * * * The old lines that have long 
kept us apart from our brethren without the fold are, thank 
God, well nigh obliterated here. On all great questions, social 
and political, we stand in St. Paul side by side. We are staunch 
in our religious faith, and they in theirs, and the honesty of 
neither is questioned ; and no one has done more to bring about 
that cordial catholic condition of things than the man who sits 
at your side. To name him is to do him honor — John Ire- 

Responding to the addresses, the Cardinal could not forbear to 
refer to his colleague in so many struggles. "For many years," 
he said, "I have been closely watching Archbishop Ireland's 
career. It was my pleasure to be associated with him at the 
last Plenary Council of Baltimore. For three weeks I studied 
him, and the more I studied him, the more I admired and loved 
him. Archbishop Ireland came to you as a Providential mes- 

• Catholic Mirror. Ootolipr 8. 188T. Subsequent Issues contain further details 
of the Cardinal's Western trip. 


senger sent to you by Almighty God. He has done untold 
good through the temporal blessings which he has helped to 
bestow upon society. 

"You were pleased," he added, "to mention my pride in 
being an American citizen; it is the proudest earthly title 1 

Referring to the movement, then much discussed, to incor- 
porate the name of God in the national Constitution, he re- 
marked : "For my part, I have not desired to see that venerated 
name used in this respect, so long as it remains inscribed on 
the tablets of the hearts of the people and the rulers of the 
nation. I would rather speak with the living captain than 
with the figure on the prow of the ship." 

Helena, Montana, the seat of Bishop Brondel, was another 
city which greeted him with an outpouring. With a touch of 
the spirit of the West, he ventured to predict that the time 
was likely to come when the city would be a community of a 
hundred thousand souls. Again, he spoke of his pride in being 
an American citizen, saying that it was as great a title as the 
one of which the ancient Romans were fond of boasting. His 
travels abroad had enhanced his love for his own country, and 
he declared that he felt a pride and a faith in its destiny which 
upheld him in the trials through which he passed. 

On Sunday, October 9, he officiated in Portland at the in- 
vestiture of Archbishop Gross, a splendid ceremony, attended 
by all the prelates of the Northwest. The next day there was 
a public reception, at which H. E. McGinn, in an address to 
the Cardinal in behalf of the citizens of Portland, took occa- 
sion to pay this tribute : 

"As long as men are compelled to labor ; as long as they feel 
called upon to unite for their own protection; as Ion? as the 
Divine mandate remains true, that *Tn the sweat of thv face 
shalt thou eat bread.* so loner shall the name of Cardinal Gib- 
bons be venerated among men." 


The earnestness of the s|>eaker was in part due to tlie fact 
that the labor question was then acute on the Pacific Coast, 
and the Cardinal took occasion in his own address at the re- 
ception to refer to it. He pleaded, as he had so often done 
before, for peace between capital and labor. 

He continued his travels to San Francisco, where he was 
hospitably entertained by Archbishop Riordan, and to Los 
Angeles, where a public address of welcome was made to him 
by Lieut.-Gov. Stephen M. WTiite, afterward United States 
Senator. At Fort Vancouver Gen. John Gibbon, the com- 
mander, entertained him. When he arrived there by boat Lieu- 
tenant Anderson, who commanded the squad sent to meet him, 

"Your Eminence, it was customary in ancient times, when 
a prince of the realm traveled, for the governors of cities to 
release some prisoners in honor of his visit. As you are a 
prince of the Church, I propose to- release some men confined 

He then summoned six private soldiers from the prison in 
the fort and said to them: "Soldiers, consider yourselves free 
in honor of Cardinal Gibbons." 

Everywhere the Cardinal was received as an eminent citi- 
zen, no less than as a prince of the Church ; and through the 
welcoming sp>eeches ran the thread of his bold and patriotic 
attitude in Rome but a few months before. 

Proceeding homeward by way of New Orleans, where he 
had spent part of his youth and where his family still resided, 
that city hailed him as its own. In behalf of the Catholics 
there, he was presented, at a public reception, a gold ring and 
chain and a diamond cross. An address of welcome was made 
to him by Edward Douglas White, afterward Chief Justice of 
the United States Supreme Court. The Cardinal returned 
from his transcontinental tour with new vigor and inspiration. 


The year 1887 marked the close of half a century's labors 
in the priesthood by Leo XIII, the friend of America and of 
America's Cardinal. The rulers of European nations, and 
•even the Sultan, were sending to Rome gifts expressive of 
their felicitations, not only to the earthly head of a Church of 
250,000,000 people, but to a man who had been the balance- 
wheel of Europe. What would be America's part in such an 
occasion? The Holy See had intimated to Cardinal Gibbons 
that an expression from the United States would be welcome. 
One day after his return from his Western tour he was con- 
sidering how to bring this to President Cleveland's attention, 
when the following letter arrived, in the handwriting of the 

President : 

"ExrctTTivE Mansion. 

"Washington, Nov. 17, 1887. 
"His Eminence Cardinal Oibbons: 

"My Dear Sir — I have thought that you would send to the Pope your 
congratulations on the occasion of the approaching Jubilee. 

"Remembering with much gratitude and satisfaction the kind words 
you brought from the Holy Father upon your recent return from Rome, 
I should be very much pleased if you could, without impropriety on your 
part, convey to him my congratulations and felicitations. 

"Hoping that you are quite well after your extended travel, I am, 

"Yours very sincerely, 

"Groveb Cleveland."* 

The Cardinal paid another of his visits to the White House, 
now growing frequent, and thanked Mr. Cleveland for the 
letter. He expressed at the same time his hope that the Presi- 
dent would not be content with a formal communication, but 
would send some memento to the Pontiff indicative of his 
sentiments. As the centennial of the Constitution had just 
been commemorated, he suggested that a copy of that instru- 
ment would be one of the most appropriate of gifts. 

Cathedral Archives. 


"None can question the fitness of such a present," said the 
Cardinal, "for the dissemination of the principles of our gov- 
ernment abroad would be above criticism." 

Mr. Cleveland assented with eagerness. The Cardinal 
offered to have a copy of the Constitution bound if the Presi- 
dent would furnish one unbound. 

"I will do nothing of the kind," rejoined the President, "but 
will insist on having a copy bound in a costly and beautiful 
manner, if you will tell me how to do it." 

The Cardinal suggested white silk or satin as appropriate. 
Mr. Cleveland then asked what should be the form of presenta- 
tion, and the Cardinal dictated these words : 

"Presented through his Eminence Cardinal Gibbons to the 
Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII, on the occasion of the golden 
jubilee of his Holiness, with the profound regard of Grover 
Cleveland, President of the United States." 

"How much time is there to have the book prepared?" asked 
the President. 

"Ten days," said the Cardinal. 

On the tenth day afterward there arrived by express at the 
archiepiscopal residence, in Baltimore, from a noted New York 
jeweler, a superb volume of the Constitution printed in old 
English characters on vellum, bound in white and red, and 
bearing the presentation inscription from President to Pope. 
Col. John T. Morris, of Baltimore, was selected to carry it to 
Rome, for presentation at the jubilee festivities. 

The presentation, in the throne room of the Vatican, was 
marked by an exchange of warm sentiments. Archbishop 
Ryan made an appropriate address, and Mgr. O'Connell read 
a letter to the Pope from the Cardinal, conveying the Presi- 
dent's personal congratulations. 

"As an archbishop," said the Pontifif in reply, "you enjoy 
in America perfect freedom. That freedom, we admit, is 


highly beneficial to the spread of religion. * * * Toward 
America I bear especial love. * * * Your government is 
free, your future full of hope. Your President commands my 
highest admiration." 

Leo was so much delighted that for a long time he exhibited 
the gift in his private apartment, with the presentation page 
open, that favoured visitors might see. That the pleasure was 
mutual is indicated by the fact that when the cardinal called on 
the president to show him the letter from the pontiff acknowl- 
edging the receipt of the gift, the president, after hearing the 
translation read, was so much pleased with it that he asked the 
cardinal to give him the original, a favor which was readily 

The letter of the Pope, which Mr. Cleveland retained, was 
addressed to Cardinal Gibbons, and charged him with the duty 
of conveying his warm thanks to the President. "In fulfill- 
ing this duty," Leo wrote, "we desire that you should assure 
the President of our admiration for the Constitution of the 
United States, not only because it enables industrious and en- 
terprising citizens to attain so high a degree of prosperity, but 
also because, under its protection, your Catholic countrymen 
have enjoyed a liberty which has so confessedly promoted the 
astonishing growth of their religion in the past and will, we 
trust, enable it in the future to be of the highest advantage to 
the civil order as well."* 

All the churches of the diocese of Baltimore observed the 
papal jubilee January i, 1888, the Cardinal delivering the ser- 
mon in the Cathedral. His heart must have been full to over- 
flowing as he arose to speak on the career of this illustrious 
Pontiff, to whose enlightened comprehension of modern condi- 
tions he owed so much of what he had been able to accomplish ; 

* A copy of the letter is in the Cathedral Archives. 


and whose fatherly interest in himself had so often overcome 
him with gratitude. At the outset he dwelt on the perpetuity of 
th€ papacy, and the mission it had worked out, under God, for 
mankind. While a great conservative force, it had turned 
progress and invention into the service of Christianity, and at 
great crises in the world's history had guided events in the 
direction of civilization. 

"What means," he asked, "can be employed to overthrow 
an institution which for nineteen centuries has successfully 
overcome every opposition waged against it? Is it by the 
power of kings and emperors and prime ministers that the 
papacy can be destroyed ? They have tried, and tried in vain, 
from the days of the Roman Caesars to our own times. Many 
persons labor under the false impression that in former times 
the Church was leagued wfth the princes of this world for the 
purpose of overthrowing the liberties of the people; that the 
altars were sustained by the thrones, and that they would 
crumble if this protection were withdrawn. The truth is. 
that, with some honorable exceptions, the most unrelenting 
enemies of the Church and the papacy have often been the 
princes of this world, and so-called Christian princes, too. 
They chafed under the salutary discipline of the Church and 
wished to be rid of her yoke, because she was the only power 
on earth that could stand between the princes and the people 
and tell the former that, if the people have their obligations, 
they have their rights, too. 

"But can the Church cope with modern inventions and the 
great discoveries of the nineteenth century? Rest assured the 
Church will not hide her head, like the o.strich in the sand, at 
the approach of these modern inventions and discoveries. For, 
if Christianity was propagated to the uttermost bounds of the 
earth at a time when we had no other ships but frail canoes, 
no other compass but the naked eye, no other roads but eternal 
snows and virgin forests and desert wastes, how much more 
now can we effect by means of railroads and steamships? Yes, 


we bless you, O men of genius. We. bless your inventions and 
discoveries, and will press you into the service of the Gospel, 
and we will say: 'Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord; fire 
and heat, bless the Lord; all ye works of the Lord, bless the 
Lord, praise and exalt Him above all forever.' 

"But may not the light of Christianity grow pale and be 
utterly extinguished before the intellectual blaze of the nine- 
teenth century? Have we not much to fear from the arts 
and sciences and literature? We have nothing to fear, but 
everything to gain, from intellectual development. The Church 
has always been the patroness of literature and the fostering 
mother of arts and sciences. At no period of the history of 
Christianity did the popes waeld a greater power than from the 
twelfth to the sixteenth century. They exercised not only 
spiritual power, but also temporal jurisdiction, and had great 
influence with the civil rulers of those days. Now, at no period 
did the human intellect revel in greater freedom in the pursuit 
of speculative knowledge of every kind than in those days. It 
was emphatically the age of universities. Forty-one universi- 
ties sprang up during those four centuries — in France, Ger- 
many, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Spain, England and Scotland. 
There can be no conflict between science and Christianity, for 
the same God is the author of all revealed truth and all scientific 
truth. Science and religion, like Mary and Martha, are sis- 
ters, because they are the daughters of the same Father — only 
they serve the Lord in a different manner ; science, like Martha, 
is laboring among the things of material creation; religion, 
like Mary, is kneeling at the feet of the Lord. 

"But has not the papacy much to fear from the progress of 
liberty? Give us liberty, this is all we ask — a fair field and 
no favor. The Church is always hampered in her operations 
wherever despotism casts its dark shadow. She always blooms 
and expands in the genial air of liberty. Amid the changes 
in human institutions the papacy is one institution that never 
changes. It has seen the birth of every existing government 


in Europe, and it is not improbable that it may witness the 
death of some of them and chant their requiem. It was 1,400 
years old when Columbus discovered America, and our own 
Government is but of yesterday as compared with it. 

"The present illustrious Pontiff, Leo XIII, is a worthy suc- 
cessor of the Gregories, the Innocents, the Piuses, and of the 
long line of Leos that have preceded him. For ten years he 
has occupied the chair of Peter, a spectacle to the world, to 
angels and to men ; and during all that time he has excited the 
admiration of the civilized world by his luminous intellect, 
his broad statesmanship, his strong judgment, his keen appre- 
ciation of things; by his conciliatory disposition, his personal 
integrity and purity of life, and by his great benevolence of 

"Leo XIII is today, perhaps, the most popular man in Eu- 
rope, if not in the world, and this is the secret of his popularity : 
He understands the times in which we live; he appreciates 
the fact that we are living in the nineteenth century, and 
not in the ninth; he understands the wants of the people, and 
sympathizes with their legitimate aspirations, while at the 
same time he is always the promoter and vindicator of law 
and order and legitimate government everywhere. He has 
found the key to the hearts of the people, and has entered there. 
Let us hope and pray that this great luminary, whom the Lord 
has set over His Church, may long linger above the horizon to 
enlighten us by his wisdom and to cheer us by his example; 
and when his course is run and his light on earth is extin- 
guished, may he shine for all eternity in the kingdom of our 
common Father, the source of all light and the author of all 

In November, 1888, the Cardinal issued a Thanksgiving cir- 
cular, in which he drew a lesson from the Presidential election 

• Catholic Mirror, Jan. 7, 1888. 


a few weeks before at which General Harrison had been chosen 
to succeed Mr. Cleveland. 

"In other lands/' he wrote, "the times for choosing the rulers 
of the nation are often occasions of political convulsion, of the 
interruption of all peaceful pursuits, and sometimes even of 
strife and bloodshed. The recent contest between ten millions 
of voters of this republic, representing sixty millions of people, 
has been settled peaceably and constitutionally, without the loss 
of a single life or even any interruption in men's ordinary avo- 

During 1888 and part of 1889 he was much engaged in writ- 
ing his second book, "Our Christian Heritage." Authorship 
naturally had a powerful appeal for a devourer of literature 
like himself, and the success of "The Faith of Our Fathers" 
had led to many offers from publishers. From early manhood 
reading had been a large part of his recreation — theology', 
philosophy, history and civics, with now and then a novel at 
night in the quiet of his study to draw his mind away from the 
absorbing events of the day. In his first book he had been the 
priest preaching to the people; but from the pages of "Our 
Christian Heritage" shines the character of citizen as well as 
priest. It may be described, in brief, as an argument in behalf 
of Christianity addressed to the average busy man of the time, 
accustomed to be guided by material considerations in his daily 
work and doubting, from force of habit, conclusions whose 
premises he cannot clearly comprehend. The Cardinal aimed 
to demonstrate the fundamental truths underlying Christianity 
by the unaided reason, which, he declared, was sufficient, 
though "they are made still more luminous by the light of 
Christian revelation." 

The book is not sectarian. The author stated positively 
that he was glad to acknowledge that "most of the topics dis- 
cussed have often found, and still find, able and zealous advo- 

* Cathedral Archives. 

(extract from "our christian HERITAGE') 

/4r^ ^ 


^^-^.^/^ /y^^-— -^.r^.^ 



cates in Protestant writers. * * * j -would gladly hold 
out to them the right hand of fellowship, so long as they unite 
with us in striking the common foe." 

Having concluded a searching and logical examination of 
the elements of Christian truth, he proceeded to argue that 
religion is the essential basis of civil society. He showed how 
it has been interwoven in the thread of events throughout the 
history of the United States, and sought to apply it as a remedy 
for the "dangers that threaten our American civilization." 
These he enumerated as five — 

"Mormonism and divorce, which strike at the root of the 
family and society ;" 

An "imperfect and vicious system of education, which un- 
dermines the religion of our youth ;" 

"Desecration of the Christian Sabbath;" 

"Gross and systematic election frauds ;" 

The "unreasonable delay in carrying into effect the sentences 
of our criminal courts." 

A chapter was devoted to the "dignity, rights and duties of 
the laboring classes," which, he argued, found their best guide 
in the wholesome influence of religion. 

In and out of the pulpit he was fond of quoting lessons 
from the life of Washington, whom he considered the greatest 
American. At the hundredth anniversary of the first Presi- 
dent's inauguration — April 30, 1889 — he issued a pastoral 
letter directing the ringing of all the church bells half an 
hour and a special service in every Catholic house of worship 
in the Diocese of Baltimore. In this letter he expressed "pro- 
found satisfaction that the citizens of the United States, with- 
out regard to race or creed or previous allegiance to any flag 
whatsoever," were about to recognize the life and achievements 
of Washington, "a gift of Almighty God to his own age, and 
an exemplar to all the ages to be." The Cardinal himself was 
present at the mass celebrated in the Baltimore Cathedral in 
honor of the event. 

Centennial of the American Hierarchy. 

In an era of centennials, the Catholic Church in America 
could not forget the origin of her own hierarchy. John Car- 
roll, a cousin of that signer of the Declaration of Independence 
who survived last to receive the grateful plaudits of his fellow- 
countrymen, had been appointed November 6, 1789, first 
Bishop of Baltimore and head of the Church in the then infant 
republic. The total population of the United States was then 
less than 4,000,000, including 40,000 Catholics; in 1889 the pop- 
ulation had grown to 65,000,000, of whom 9,000,000 were of 
the Catholic faith. From Carroll as a corner-stone, the hier- 
archy had risen in a hundred years to the proportions of 
13 archbishops and 71 bishops, the spiritual overseers of 8,000 
priests, 10,500 churches and chapels, 27 seminaries for train- 
ing the clergy, 650 colleges and academies for the higher educa- 
tion of youth, 3,100 parish schools and 520 hospitals and 

The nation had marshalled its strength with pride in the 
unexampled rapidity of its achievements ; might not the Cath- 
olic Church do the same, exhibiting not only her own great- 
ness, but her thorough identification with the spirit of the 
people and the Government ? 

Cardinal Gibbons had been accustomed to works of organi- 
zation, and when it was decided to hold a great celebration in 
Baltimore to mark the hierarchy's centennial, he began the 
undertaking with characteristic energy and skill. Aided by the 
staff of priests attached to his household and to the Cathedral, 
he soon had under way the beginnings of a project of far- 
reaching scope. Surrounding him at the time were Rev. P. J. 



Donahue, an undergraduate of his "School of Bishops," after- 
ward head of the WheeHng Diocese; Rev. John T. Whelan, his 
secretary, a man of rare energy, tact and capacity for detail; 
Rev. Thomas S. Lee, rector of the Cathedral, and Rev. Wil- 
liam A. Reardon, assistant. They called to their aid Rev. J. A. 
McCallen, of St. Mary's Seminary, who had long been recog- 
nized as a master of Church ceremonial, and who had man- 
aged some of the most imposing events that had taken place in 
the Cathedral and elsewhere. 

The celebration included five days crowded with ambitious 
events. For the opening, on Sunday, November lo, there 
was a solemn pontifical mass, at which, as far as possible, 
the American hierarchy were assembled, as well as representa- 
tives of the Church in other countries on both sides of the At- 
lantic. After this was a dinner at St. Mary's Seminary, at 
which the principal foreign delegates spoke. On Monday and 
Tuesday a congress of laymen was held, and on Tuesday night 
a torchlight procession. On Wednesday the School of Sacred 
Sciences at the new university was dedicated. On Thursday 
the visiting prelates were escorted in carriages to the principal 
places of interest in or near Baltimore, and there was a recep- 
tion at the City Hall. 

Cardinal Gibbons had written to the Pope, outlining the plans 
for the celebration. The Pontiff encouraged it with lively 

"That great love for country and for religion," wrote Leo, 
"which you and our brethren the bishops of the L"''nited 
States, have so often and so nobly manifested, is again strik- 
ingly illustrated in the letter which you have recently ad- 
dressed to us. From it we learn that pastors and people are 
about to assemble in Baltimore to celebrate the one hundredth 
anniversary of the establishment of the hierarchy of the United 
States. On the same occasion you propose to dedicate the 
Catholic University, which, with the generous help of the faith- 


ful, you have founded in Washington as a happy presage of 
future greatness for the new era upon which you are about to 

"It is truly worthy of your faith and hope thus gratefully to 
recall the blessings bestowed upon your country by Divine 
Providence, and at the same time to raise up in memory of 
them a monument which will be an honor to yourselves and a 
lasting benefit to your fellow-citizens and to the country at 
large. We gladly unite with you in returning thanks to God, 
the author of all gifts. At the same time, we cordially congrat- 
ulate you on the zeal with which you emulate the example of 
your glorious predecessors, faithfully treading in their foot- 
steps, whilst ever widening the field opened by their apostolic 

"Most joyfully have we welcomed the expression which 
you and the other bishops convey to us of your loyalty and 
devotion to the Apostolic See. We desire, in return, to assure 
you that, like our predecessors of blessed memory, we., too, 
bear an especial love toward you, our brethren, and the faith- 
ful committed to your care, and that we pray frequently for 
your prosperity and welfare, gathering comfort meanwhile, 
no less from the readiness of your people to co-operate in all 
manner of good works than from the examples of sacerdotal 
virtue which are daily set before them. 

"In regard to your wish that some representative from this 
city should, in our name, be present at your celebration, we 
readily assent to it, the more willingly because his presence will 
be an especial mark of our esteem and benevolence, and of that 
bond of affection and charity which unites pastors and people 
to the supreme head of the Church. 

"In conclusion, we earnestly pray to God, protector and 
guardian of the Catholic cause, that under the excellent and 
favored public institutions by which you are able to exercise 
with freedom your sacred ministry, your labors may redound 


to the benefit of Church and country; and as a pledge of our 
especial affection we lovingly impart apostolic benediction to 
you, to our venerable brethren, the bishops of the United 
States, and to the clergy and faithful committed to your 

Mgr. O'Connell brought this letter from Rome to Cardinal 
Gibbons. He was soon followed by the representative whom 
the Pope had promised to send, Francesco di Paola Satolli, 
Archbishop of Lepanto, an Italian theologian of deep learning 
and wonderful eloquence, who was destined to play a great part 
in the relations between the Holy See and the Catholics of the 
United States. Satolli's first impression of the people was 
amazement at the proportions of the celebration; and, though 
he could speak no English, he soon showed, after the manner 
of De Toqueville and Bryce, a faculty for understanding the 
true spirit of American institutions beyond the capacity of 
most men born here. 

Cardinal Manning was invited with a special warmth, and, 
had he come to Baltimore, would have shared with his friend, 
Cardinal Gibbons, the honors of the occasion; but age had at 
last interposed its relentless barrier against that iron will, and 
he was forced to decline, sending Bishop Virtue, of Ports- 
mouth, and Mgr. Gadd in his place. 

From Canada came Cardinal Taschereau and six archbish- 
ops; from Mexico, Bishops Gillow and Montez D'Oca; and 
Archbishop Croke sent a fervent letter from the prelates of 
Ireland. Nearly all the bishops and archbishops of the United 
States gathered in Baltimore for the event. 

A prelude to the main celebration was the observance, 
February 20, 21 and 22, 1889, of the one hundredth anniver- 
sary of Georgetown University, the first Catholic collegiate 
institution in the United States. This, too, was one of the 

• Letter of Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 7, 188© (Cathedral Archives). 


fruits of the ministry of John Carroll, who had founded it to 
meet a great need then existing, and who would have been its 
first president had he not been raised to the episcopate in the 
same year. At the celebration the two most conspicuous fig- 
ures were Cardinal Gibbons and President Cleveland, who, 
following the example of nearly all his predecessors, from 
Washington down, visited this widely known Jesuit institution. 

In the presence of an assemblage more largely representative 
of the true spirit of the Church in America than any other 
which had gone before, the splendid ceremonies of the hier- 
archy's centennial began November lo with the pontifical 
high mass at the Cathedral.* Every American prelate was 
there, except the aged Archbishop Kenrick, of St. Louis, who 
was too feeble to make the trip halfway across the continent. 
Besides these, four hundred priests, the same number of semi- 
narians and several organizations of laymen took part in the 
procession. Archbishop Ryan, then in the prime of his powers 
as an orator and celebrated far and near for the eloquence and 
force of his pulpit utterances, preached a masterly sermon. 
While they were celebrating the first centennial of the Church 
in the United States, he pointed out, the beginnings of Catho- 
licity in America reached back to a much earlier period. He 
recalled that a Catholic discoverer, representing a Catholic na- 
tion, "had first planted the all-civilizing Cross on these shores" 
in 1492. He rejoiced to welcome the Mexicans, representa- 
tives of "that older Catholicity." 

"The fathers of this republic," he said, "had to form a con- 
stitution and government for a people of every race, language, 
color and nationality, who, they foresaw, would inhabit this 
land. They had to combine a political Catholicity with a po- 
litical unity, and to hold the most discordant elements together 

♦ Souvenir Volume, Centennial Celebration and Catholic Congress, published by 
Wm. H. Hughes, Detroit, 1889. (This book and Kelly's Collections in the Life 
and Times of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. I. the files of the Catholic Mirror and the 
Baltimore newspapers are the authorities for most of the facts cited in the 
present chapter.) 


by force of law. So also before the establishment of the Cath- 
olic Church in this world, religions were national in their or- 
ganization, though universal in their fundamental principles, 
and were adapted to particular peoples of the same race and 
language. But the Church was destined to embrace within 
her government the peoples of every nation under heaven, to 
combine the most diverse elements and firmly to unite them and 
hold them for all time; and in no one country of the world 
had we to exercise this power so much as here, for nowhere 
else were they found together." 

Sketching the labors of Carroll, Archbishop Ryan pro- 
nounced him an American patriot as well as a Christian bishop. 
"Love of country and race," he remarked, **is a feeling planted 
by God in the human heart, and, when properly directed, be- 
comes a wall of virtue." 

Outlining the history of the Church in the century that had 
just passed, Archbishop Ryan pointed out that "since the Civil 
War there is a great change in popular sentiment in relation to 
the Catholic Church. In addition to this, it must be remem- 
bered that Catholics and Protestants now associate more freely 
and intimately and understand each other better. Intelligent 
Protestants are gradually being dispossessed of the old notion 
that Catholics exalt the Blessed Virgin to a position equal to 
that of the Son, that priests can forgive sins according to their 
own wish, that images may be adored after the fashion of the 
pagans, that the Bible should not be read, and other absurd 
supposed doctrines and practices of the Church. Because of 
this enlightenment, and because of the high character of Ameri- 
can converts in the past — men like Dr. Brownson, Dr. Ives, 
Father Hecker and many others — it is possible that some of 
the ablest defenders of the Church in this coming century may 
be men who are at present in the ranks of her opponents. * * * 

"A wonderful future is before the Church in this country, 
if we are only true to her, to the country and to ourselves. 
She has demonstrated that she can live and move and widen 


without state influence, that the atmosphere of liberty is most 
congenial to her constitution and most conducive to her prog- 
ress. Let us be cordially American in our feelings and senti- 
ments, and, above all, let each individual act in his personal 
life and character the spirit of his Catholic faith." 

At pontifical vespers the same day Archbishop Ireland 
preached in his characteristic vein on "The New Century : Re- 
sponsibilities, Hopes and Duties." He boldly voiced his own 
aspirations and those of others who thought the same way, men 
to whom progress was the breath of life, development the coun- 
tersign of duty. 

"The past," he said, "our fathers wrought; the future will 
be wrought by us. The next century in the life of the Church 
in America will be what we make it. Our work is to make 
America Catholic. If we love America, if we love the Church, 
to mention the work suffices. Our cry shall be 'God wills it,' 
and our hearts shall leap with Crusader enthusiasm. * * * 

"The Catholic Church will confirm and preserve as no hu- 
man power or human church can, the liberties of the republic. 
The importance of the position of America to the cause of 
religion can not well be overestimated. It is a Providential 
nation. How youthful, and yet how great! How bright in 
glorious promise ! * * * 

"The movements of the modern world have their highest 
tension in the United States. The natural order is here seen 
at its best, and here it displays its fullest symmetry. Here 
should the Church, unhampered by the government or by 
despotic custom, come with the freedom of the son of Issai, 
choose its arms, and, marching straight for the opposing foe, 
bring the contest to a speedy close. 

"Of inestimable value to us is the liberty the Church enjoys 
under the Constitution of the republic. No tyrant here casts 
chains around her. No concordat limits her action or cramps 
her energies. She is as free as the eagle upon Alpine hills — 


free to spread out in unrestricted flight her pinions, to soar to 
vast altitudes, to put into action all her native energies. The 
law of the land protects her in her rights, and asks in return 
no sacrifices for those rights; for her rights are those of 
American citizenship. * * * 

"There is needed a thorough sympathy with the country. 
The Church of America must be, of course, as Catholic as in 
Jerusalem or Rome ; but, so far as her garments assume color 
from the local atmosphere, she must be American. Let no 
one dare paint her brow with foreign tint or pin to her mantle 
foreign linings! There is danger; she receives large acces- 
sions of natives from foreign countries. God witnesseth it, 
they are welcome ! I will not enter upon their personal affec- 
tions and tastes; yet, should those be foreign, they shall not 
encrust upon the Church. Americans have no longings for a 
church of foreign aspect. It would acquire no influence over 
them. In no manner could it prosper ; exotics have but sickly 
forms. I would have Catholics be the first patriots in the 

"This is an intellectual age ; it worships intellect. All things 
are treated by the touchstone of intellect, and the ruling power, 
public opinion, is formed by it. The Church will be judged 
by the standard of intellect. * * * 

"We have a dreadful lesson to learn from certain Euro- 
pean countries in which, from the weight of tradition, the 
Church clings to thrones and classes and loses her grasp upon 
the people. Let us not make this mistake. We have here no 
princes, no hereditary classes; still, there is the danger that 
there may be in religion a favorite aristocracy upon which we 
lavish so much care that none remains for others. What, I 
ask, for the multitude who peep at us from gallery and vesti- 
bule? What of the thousands and tens of thousands of nomi- 
nal Catholics or non-Catholics who seldem or never open a 
church door? What of the uncouth and unkempt, I ask, of 


the cellar and the areaway, the mendicant and the outcast? It 
is time to bring back the primitive Gospel spirit, to go out into 
the highways and byways, to preach on housetops and in mar- 
ket places. * * * Save the masses! Cease not planning 
and working for their salvation. * * * 

"Seek out social grievances; lead in movements to heal them. 
Speak of vested rights, for this is necessary; but speak, too, of 
vested wrongs, and strive by precept, word and example, by 
the enactment and enforcement of good laws to correct them. 
Breathe fresh air into the crowded quarters of the poor." 

Cardinal Gibbons presided at the dinner held at St. Mary's 
Seminary. A cablegram from the Pope, expressing his joy 
at the triumphs of faith which the occasion commemorated, 
was read; and Archbishop Satolli, whose Latin eloquence was 
then heard for the first time in America, predicted that Leo 
or some future pontiflf would visit this country. Greetings to 
the American Church were conveyed by Cardinal Taschereau 
for Canada; by the Mexican bishops, for their country, and 
letters were read from English and Irish prelates. 

The congress of laj^men had been proposed by Archbishop 
Ireland. It was a plan which had been tried to some extent 
in Europe, but never before in America. Had such a gathering 
been suggested in one of the periods of religious storm to which 
the country had been subject before the Civil War, it would 
have been rejected at once as impracticable; but in the altered 
temper of the times it was at least worth considering, and 
Cardinal Gibbons finally adopted it. 

For centuries the followers of the Catholic religion in the 
United States had been the victims of groundless distrust. In 
Virginia, the oldest colony, which shared the religious preju- 
dices of England, they were regarded with suspicion; and in 
Massachusetts, during the earlier days, they were considered 
to be only a little less dangerous than the witches of Salem. 
Even in Maryland, founded by a Catholic Lord Proprietor 
and dedicated by him to religious liberty, the later Calverts, 


turned Protestants, had assented to the imposition of double 
taxes on Catholics and to depriving them of the suffrage. A 
petition to Governor Sharpe, in which they pathetically recited 
the origin of the province and the full freedom which they 
formerly enjoyed, bears eloquent testimony to the patience 
with which they bore their burdens.* No Americans were 
more sincerely loyal in the preliminary days of the Revolution 
and, during the progress of that intense struggle, in forum 
and on battlefield. It was even said that "every Catholic was a 
Whig." Debarred before the war from holding even a com- 
mission in the militia, a number of them speedily rose to high 
rank in the army led by Washington. Of the members of the 
Continental Congress, a considerable number were Catholics. 
John Carroll went to Canada with Franklin on the vain mis- 
sion designed to win that country to the cause of independence. 

Catholics had shared with their Protestant brethren, know- 
ing no discrimination in public life, the burdens of citizenship 
in the formative days of the republic. In the War of 1812 
they had again proved the mettle of their patriotism. Andrew 
Jackson, victorious over Packenham, was welcomed to New 
Orleans by the Catholics of that city, headed by Bishop Du- 
bourg, who celebrated in the Cathedral a solemn service of 
thanksgiving for the triumph of American arms. Catholics 
were active in Congress and in State Legislatures, accepting 
prejudice with equanimity and losing no fraction of their pub- 
lic spirit under the sting of calumny. In Know-Nothing times 
they had conducted themselves w^ith singular moderation ; and 
in the Civil War they had divided in sympathy like their 
brethren of other faiths. 

Still, there was a lingering remnant of prejudice that came 
down from other days. How could it be met? Perhaps the 
time had come for them to follow collectively where Cardinal 
Gibbons had led. None doubted his patriotism. No Protest- 

• Maryland Ilistorical Society Manuscripts. 


ant cleric was half so conspicuous in the eyes of his country 
and of the world as an advanced and liberal champion of the 
American idea. 

Nevertheless, there was danger of immature discussion at 
the congress of laymen, which the Cardinal had prudently 
considered. In the atmosphere of American freedom, unrep- 
resentative men are prone to utterances which may be misin- 
terpreted. It was decided that the bishops should appoint the 
delegates to the congress, and that the program should be sub- 
mitted to episcopal authority beforehand, so that, as far as 
possible, tendencies to individual extremism might be checked. 

The congress met in the Concordia Opera House, and was 
presided over by John Lee Carroll, a former Governor of 
Maryland, and a great-grandson of Charles Carroll of Car- 
rollton. The range of discussion included the opportuni- 
ties of the laity, state and religious education, temperance, 
Sunday observance, social questions, church music, the Cath- 
olic press, and the independence of the Holy See. In the 
main, the atmosphere of the congress proved to be one of 
sound ideas and patriotic spirit. When a false chord was 
struck by Daniel Dougherty, of Philadelphia, the opinion of 
his associates revolted and gave a more effective demonstra- 
tion of the healthy tone of the congress than would have 
been possible had complete unanimity prevailed. Dougherty, 
whose gifts of oratory had won for him the name of "silver- 
tongued," made an address concerning the colonial persecu- 
tions of Catholics, long forgotten by nearly everybody else. 
He went so far as to declare that there was even y€t a disposi- 
tion to exclude them from public office. "The highest honors 
of the republic are denied us," he exclaimed, "by a prejudice 
which has all the force of a constitutional enactment." 

The offices held by many of the delegates, in state and na- 
tion, formed the most effective answer to his criticism. Dough- 
erty himself had been selected to make the nominating 


speeches for Hancock in 1880, and Cleveland in 1888, in the 
national conventions of the Democratic party; surely, there 
was no great discrimination in his case. It was true that there 
had been no Catholic President; but no man of sufficient politi- 
cal prominence to be eligible to that exalted office had been 
rejected because he was of the Catholic faith. 

In contrast to Dougherty's pessimism, the general spirit of 
the congress was one of buoyant hope, and his gloomy retro- 
spection found no echo in any other part of the proceedings. 
Resolutions which were adopted on the closing day expressed 
the views and aspirations of the laity. They set forth that 
there was no conflict between the Church and the institutions 
of the country; denounced Mormonism, the tendency to di- 
vorce, nihilism, socialism, communism, and declared that "we 
equally condemn the greed of capital." As was to be ex- 
pected, a school system which included a course of religious 
training was advocated. An outgrowth of the current agitation 
for a "Continental Sunday" was found in a clause favoring 
the Sunday closing of saloons. The absolute freedom of the 
Holy See was held to be necessary for the peace of the Church 
and the welfare of mankind. 

The Cardinal addressed the congress, expressing the view 
that it had not been convoked in vain. "It will form an ad- 
mirable school," he said, "for enlightening and instructing the 
members and preparing them for holding a more elaborate 
convention at some future day. This congress, by the mere 
fact of being called together, emphasizes and vindicates the 
important truth that it is the privilege as well as the duty of 
our laity to co-operate with the clergy in discussing those great 
economic, educational and social questions which affect the 
interests and well-being of the Church, the country and society 
at large. I confess that the desire of my heart for a long time 
has been to see the clergy and the laity drawn more closely. 
They have, perhaps, in some respects been much and too long 
apart; for, if the clergy are the Divinely constituted channels 


for instructing the laity in faith and morals, the clergy, on 
their part, have much to learn from the wisdom and discretion, 
the experience and worldly sense of the laity. 

"And in no other country on the face of the earth should 
the clergy and the laity be more united than in our own. The 
laity build our churches; they erect our schools; they volun- 
tarily and generously support our clergy; the salaries of our 
clergy are not ceremoniously handed to them by Government 
officials on a silver salver, but come from the warm hands and 
warm hearts of the people." 

Archbishop Ireland inspired the delegates with one of his 
short and vigorous addresses. 

The congress ended with a torchlight parade, in which 
30,000 men and boys took part. The streets were brilliant 
with illumination as this great procession passed. Cardinal 
Gibbons reviewed it from his residence, and enthusiastically 
joined in the applause. It was nearly midnight when the last 
men in line passed his bay-window. The utmost good humor 
prevailed, and in the dense throngs on the streets there was 
not the slightest disorder. The parade, in which nearly all 
who took part were Marylanders, was as much a tribute to the 
Cardinal as to the visiting prelates and laymen. It took the 
form of a popular demonstration in his honor as it wound 
along picturesque Charles street and thousands gazed upward 
for a word of approval from the head of the Church in 

The dedication of the School of Sacred Sciences at the new 
university on the fourth day of the celebration marked the tri- 
umph of an idea. The project was close to the Cardinal's 
heart, and, he said in later years, it had given him greater con- 
cern than anvthing else he had undertaken. It had been born 
in hopes at the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore ; clothed 
with reality at the Third Council, where Bishop Spalding's 
zeal and Miss Mary Gwendoline Caldwell's gift of $300,000 
led the prelates to authorize it as a practical undertaking; and 


now, with the Pope's blessing and with the prayers of the 
clergy, the university was about to begin its mission of instruc- 
tion. Miss Caldwell's gift had been increased by $50,000 
from her sister, Lina; and through the energetic efforts of 
Bishop Keane and others the amount had been gradually 
swelled to $800,000. Bishop Keane, the first rector, traveled 
throughout the country wuth the zeal of an apostle, pleading 
as few men could plead for the substantial help of the laity. 
His saintly life, his winning personality, the fervor of his mis- 
sion and the direct vigor of his appeals opened the way readily. 
He seemed never to tire; and, when the results of his labors 
were summed up, it was found that progress had been made 
beyond the dreams of the project's most sanguine promoters. 

The question of a site for the university was much dis- 
cussed; but all finally agreed on Washington as the best place 
for the capstone of the Catholic educational system. The wis- 
dom of this choice was confirmed in a few years by the Meth- 
odists, who laid the beginnings of the American Methodist 
University in the same city; and the Protestant Episcopal 
Church a little later raised Washington to the dignity of an 
independent bishopric. When Carroll decided to found his 
academy at Georgetown, in 1789, he had no idea that the 
capital of the country would be established there. In this, as 
in other things, he "builded wiser than he knew." 

It had been projected to start the university with a Divinity 
course, and gradually develop it as means were obtained. 
With American buoyancy, some of the bishops dared to hope 
that it would spring, like Minerva, full armed from the brow 
of Jove. Others, more cautious, pointed to the history of the 
European universities, which had gradually developed for cen- 
turies from small nuclei; but the great majority were united 
in the desire to go ahead with the work. 

The cornerstone of the School of Sacred Sciences, the first 
of the group, had been laid May 24, 1888, in the presence of 
President Cleveland, members of his Cabinet, Cardinal Gib- 


bons and other distinguished persons. Early the next year 
the Pope addressed a brief to the American bishops, declaring 
that, "as the See of Baltimore is the chief among the apostolic 
sees of the United States of North America, to the Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore and to his successors we grant the priv- 
ilege of discharging the office of supreme moderator or chan- 
cellor of the university." 

Nearly all the great assemblage of prelates went over from 
Baltimore to attend the dedication, in the midst of a pouring 
rain, which soaked the spongy soil of the suburban estate on 
which the university had been planted, as yet unresponsive to 
the magic touch of the landscape gardener. Archbishop Satolli 
celebrated mass, and Bishop Gilmour, of Cleveland, preached. 
He pointed out that it was fitting to begin with a Divinity 
course, for, from the Catholic point of view, "all true educa- 
tion must begin in God, and find its truth and direction in 
God. * * * 

"There is a widespread mistake," he continued, "a rapidly 
growing political and social heresy, which assumes and asserts 
that the state is all temporal and religion all spiritual. This is 
not only a doctrinal heresy; but, if acted upon, would ruin 
both spiritual and temporal. No more can the state exist 
without religion than the body without the soul ; and no more 
can religion exist without the state, and on earth carry on its 
work, than can the soul on earth, without the body, do its 
work. The state, it is true, is for the temporal, but has its 
substantial strength in the spiritual; while religion, it is true, 
is for the spiritual, but in much must find its working strength 
in the temporal. In this sense it is a mistake to assume that 
religion is independent of the state, or the state independent of 
religion. As a matter of fact, religion must depend upon the 
state in temporalities; and, vice versa, the state must depend 
upon religion in morals; and both should so act that their 
conjoint work will be for the temporal and moral welfare of 


But, the Bishop proceeded to show, he did not mean that any 
form of direct or legaHzed partnership between church and 
state was necessary or desirable. "In this country," he said, 
"we have agreed that rehgion and the state shall exist as dis- 
tinct and separate departments, each with its separate rights 
and duties; but this does not mean that the state is inde- 
pendent of religion or religion independent of the state." 

The Bishop remarked that it was perhaps the first great 
imiversity of the world "begun without state or princely aid, 
but originating in an outpouring of public thought, and founded 
and provided for by the gifts of the many, rather than by the 
offerings of the few. It bespeaks the widening character of 
American ideas and the existing conviction of the public mind 
that higher studies are clearly needed." 

A brilliant banquet in one of the halls of the university was 
made notable by the attendance of President Harrison, Vice- 
President Morton, and nearly all the members of the Cabinet. 
Archbishop Satolli's Latin eloquence flowed again. "God 
loves America," he said. "It is Leo's feeling that this is 
true; and he believes, therefore, that in America nothing is 

A cablegram from the Pontiff, conveying his blessing and 
sending congratulations, was read. 

Secretary of State Blaine, in a speech, said he had come to 
the banquet to represent the United States, "not in a political 
sense, much less a partisan one, and not in a sense in any way 
in conflict with any church or sect or principle of religion. 
Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the United States, and 
this is one of our greatest blessings. I have spoken thus often 
in Protestant assemblages, and it gives me pleasure to repeat 
it to a Catholic audience. * * * Every college in the 
United States increases the culture of the United States. We 
have the criticism of an English professor, who admired 
America as the most intelligent land in the world and the 


least cultivated. Universities will, in time, give us a greater 
excellence in learning." 

Cardinal Taschereau spoke in French, saying that the time 
was a troublous one for the Church abroad, because of the 
"intense opposition of the potentates of Europe." "In the 
United States," he pointed out, "there is full freedom; and 
there is great comfort in the universal confidence placed in 
Cardinal Gibbons as the glorious representative of the Church 
in America. The Pope has always had unbounded faith in 
him, and he has often been spoken of by the Holy Father as 
the first priest in America." 

After President Harrison had briefly expressed his thanks 
for the reception accorded him. Cardinal Gibbons spoke of the 
"Hierarchy of the United States." "We have all been more 
than anxious," he said, "for the visit of the President, the Vice- 
President and members of the Cabinet, who have honored the 
university by their presence. They assure us of their sym- 
pathy for every cause to promote the religion and morality of 
the people in the United States. Though there is no union of 
church and state, in any sense, the people have always upheld 
religion. * * * jjj olden times the Church admonished 
obedience to rulers when they were even obnoxious. How 
much more can she do so now, when salutary laws are made 
to foster the home and better society? A government is 
pleasing to God when it is in harmony, and how good it is 
when both clergymen and laymen, working in an individual 
capacity, bring about harmony." 

Vicompte de Montalembert made a lengthy address in 
French in behalf of the universities of Paris and Lyons. There 
were many other speeches ; and after the banquet the university 
course was formally opened by an oration in English by 
Bishop O'Farrell, of Trenton, and a Latin address by Mgr. 
Schroeder, the new professor of dogmatic theology. The 
ceremonies were elaborate and prolonged. Surely no univer- 
sity was founded under more notable auspices. 


The reception at the City Hall of Baltimore on Thursday 
given by Mayor Latrobe to the visiting prelates and laymen 
was a revelation to many of them. These men, shut off in 
many cases from direct contact with the world in the solitude 
of ecclesiastical hfe, were amazed to see Cardinal Gibbons ap- 
parently on terms of familiar acquaintance with nearly every- 
body present, from the Mayor down to the little children who 
came with their parents. What surprised them almost as 
much was the fact that the crowd, with singular unanimity, 
seemed to look upon him as the foremost citizen of Maryland, 
rather than as a churchman, and appeared to take this view as 
if from the force of long habit. For not a few of the distin- 
guished prelates this was a sermon in itself more powerful 
than any to which they had listened during the week. If an 
archbishop were in the community, of the community, and a 
leader of the community, what need to fear a misunderstand- 
ing, a lack of common purpose? The foreigners found an 
especial lesson in this. The formality, the diplomatic restraint 
between the churchmen and public men in Europe was lost in 
the fusing of American life within the crucible of freedom and 
co-operation. Neither had favors to ask, but both felt the 
impulse of a united object. Delicate forms of ceremony, de- 
signed, perhaps, as much to uphold prerogative as to promote 
cordiality, were notably lacking. The Mayor and the crowd 
met on terms of simple friendship, greater in its potency than 
documents stamped with official seals or precedent brought 
down from mediaeval days. 

When the great gathering broke up, what had been accom- 
plished? The Church, through her laity as well as her bish- 
ops, had set her face against socialism, and the other trans- 
planted political organisms which had threatened to grow in 
the virgin soil of America; had condemned the prevalent hos- 
tility between labor and capital; had entered a militant con- 
flict against social evils, like divorce; had sent forth cham- 
pions in pulpit and pew with new inspiration, with co-ordi- 


nated ideas, to begin aggressively the work of a new century 
of Catholic effort. 

Simultaneously with the congress, "Our Christian Herit- 
age" appeared in print. The delegates found a guide for their 
own labors in the Cardinal's vigorous declarations on current 

Leo XIII turned again to the American hierarchy for con- 
solation in the European difficulties which were accumulating 
around him. Cardinal Rampolla, writing to Cardinal Gib- 
bons, conveyed the "liveliest satisfaction" which the Pontiff 
had felt in the events of the centennial. "His Holiness also," 
he wrote, "spoke of yourself in terms of the highest praise for 
all you did on that occasion, and said at the same time that he 
approves most fully the prudent line of conduct you pursue in 
your management of every work undertaken to promote the 
greater development of your young and illustrious Church."* 

With characteristic readiness to turn everything to practical 
use, Cardinal Gibbons presided over a mass-meeting held in 
the Baltimore Academy of Music on the Sunday following the 
celebration, which resulted in the adoption of a high-license 
law regulating liquor selling in Maryland. This meeting had 
been hastily arranged by his secretary. Rev. John T. Whelan, 
who wished to take advantage of a golden opportunity to strike 
a blow for temperance ; and the Cardinal willingly acquiesced 
in the plan when it was presented to him a short time before 
the meeting was to be held. It was at a moment when Arch- 
bishop Ireland's temperance crusade was reaching the zenith 
of its activity, and the ardor of the prelate from St. Paul 
was also aroused by the opportunity. One of the conspicu- 
ous visitors to the centennial exercises had been Rev. James 
Nugent, of Liverpool, called "the Father Mathew of Eng.- 
land," a lion in the cause of temperance in his own country. 
Some of the most prominent laymen in Maryland, Protestant 
as well as Catholic, sat on the stage to lend the encouragement 

• Cathedral Archives. 


of their presence to this new movement for the social better- 
ment of the community. 

"The blow we strike tonight," the Cardinal said, "is for the 
benefit of the laborer, and as such it must and shall be suc- 

The enactment of the proposed law by the Legislature soon 
afterward could not have been accomplished without this 
demonstration, which marshalled public opinion in an irre- 
sistible phalanx. The Cardinal, while not so radical as the 
Archbishop of St. Paul in his views on the liquor question, 
was thoroughly committed to a reduction of the evils arising 
from drink. He had been a moderate user of light wines at din- 
ner, in which he found partial relief from the pangs of indiges- 
tion. Had he believed prohibition practicable of enforcement, 
he himself would have been the first to exemplify total absti- 
nence; but, in his view, statutory aboHtion of the use of liquor 
would defeat its own object. It would lead, he believed, to 
wholesale violations of the law, and, therefore, to a growing 
disrespect for the law. He had not been able to find encour- 
agement from the object-lessons in communities which had at- 
tacked the problem by this means. Example and judicious 
restriction, it seemed to him, were the best means of contend- 
ing with the situation. 

Violent methods in the solution of the temperance question 
always excited his disapproval. When Mrs. Carrie Nation, of 
Kansas, began a campaign of open destruction of saloon prop- 
erty, which for a time was a sort of national sensation, he 
remarked : 

"Nothing, in my opinion, can warrant Mrs. Nation and her 
followers in taking the law in their own hands and wrecking 
the property of saloonkeepers." 

For many years he has made a practice, when he confirms at 
the altar, to obtain a pledge of abstinence from intoxicating 
liquors by the young until they reach the age of twenty-one 
years ; and the addresses on temperance which he has made on 


such occasions would fill volumes. His steady adherence to 
this plan must have had a tremendous effect ; and, whether due 
in part to his example and precept or not, there has been a 
steady and pronounced decrease in the evidences of intoxica- 
tion in Baltimore. Scarcely ever is a drunken man seen on the 
streets, and the good order which prevails in the city is a com- 
mon subject of surprise to strangers. 

Not only in this direction, but in many others, he has exer- 
cised a continuous and powerful influence for the social welfare 
of the city in which he lives ; but he is not prone by nature to 
radicalism in such questions, and is always inclined to allow 
for the rebound of human nature from the strain of extreme 

Apostolic Delegate: the School Question. 

By the year 1890 the Cathohc Church had assumed a new 
aspect in the eyes of the American people as a result of the 
liberalizing policy of Cardinal Gibbons, powerfully supported, 
as it was, by the far-sighted Pontiff who sat in the chair of 
Peter. A Pentecostal wave of accessions to the Church was 
the natural result. Not only was she able to retain within 
her fold a host of the immigrants who were arriving from 
Catholic countries in Europe, but conversions were numerous, 
and dioceses were springing up everywhere. To be a Catholic 
was no longer to be an object of suspicion in an ultra-Prot- 
estant neighborhood. Protestant ministers were inclined to 
welcome a Catholic Church in their vicinity in the same spirit 
in which they would welcome one of a non-Catholic denomi- 
nation. It was amazing how the old lines of religious preju- 
dice were disappearing. Catholic and Protestant pastors 
worked together in movements for the moral and social better- 
ment of the communities in which they were thrown. 

A militant evangelism was building new edifices where the 
mass might be celebrated in areas to which population was 
flocking. With the increased wealth of the country, it was 
easier to erect churches, parish halls and schools, and to sup- 
port the clergy in their ministrations. 

This awakening of Catholic activity had the effect of accen- 
tuating differences of view that had been gradually arising 
and of thrusting upon the hierarchy the necessity for a solu- 
tion of problems which had not hitherto reached a climax. 
Chief among these were the school question and the so-called 
question of Americanism — the nationalization of the diverse 



foreign elements introduced by immigration ; but around them 
clustered a multitude of lesser problems upon which opinion 
was dividing with increasing definiteness of demarcation. It 
was difficult, under the circumstances, to get these great ques- 
tions settled promptly at Rome. The United States, being 
still a missionary country in the organization of the Church, 
was under the jurisdiction of the Propaganda, already over- 
crowded with the tremendous undertaking of managing Cath- 
olic mission movements throughout the world. There was a 
feeling among some American bishops and priests that a 
method should be provided for a prompter determination of 
ecclesiastical questions arising in this country. 

Archbishop Satolli had gone back to Leo with glowing ac- 
counts of what he had seen in America. The strength and 
freedom of the Church had powerfully impressed him. In 
Washington he had been cordially received by President Har- 
rison; and had become amazed no less by the vast possibili- 
ties for the advancement of the Church than by the material 
resources of the nation. 

The advisibility of more direct relations between the Vatican 
and the Government at Washington had long been considered 
at Rome. As early as 1885 Cardinal Gibbons received a letter 
from Cardinal Simeoni, asking his opinion about the expedi- 
ency of the Holy See entering into diplomatic relations with 
the United States. In his answer he deprecated the idea, giv- 
ing many reasons why, in his judgment, such an undertaking 
would be imprudent and might compromise the pontiff as well 
as the Catholics of America. The only circumstance, he wrote, 
under which such a communication should be made would be 
on an occasion of sympathy or congratulation regarding a pub- 
lic calamity or a signal blessing to the nation. 

Later inquiries of the same character were made of the 
American archbishops, but all except Mgr. Ireland replied that 
such a step would be inadvisable. Cardinal Gibbons' reason 


for doubting the wisdom of appointing an apostolic delegate 
was based on his well-known views of the respective func- 
tions of church and state. It had so long been one of his 
favorite themes that the Church prospers most when wholly 
divorced from political entanglements, that he conceived the 
result of the experiment to be at least doubtful. Misinterpre- 
tation would be apt to arise ; it might be held in some quarters 
that the appointment of an apostolic delegate, though his func- 
tions might be confined to an adjustment of purely ecclesias- 
tical questions, would be an entering w^edge for the opening of 
full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the White 
House. He knew that this last was impossible and not in ac- 
cord with the spirit of American institutions. It would harm, 
not help, the Church, and the justification of great need was 
lacking. The Church had no difficulty with the Government 
of the United States. The national administrations had not 
only not been repressive, but had shown no disposition to in- 
terfere with Catholic interests in any place over which the 
American flag floated. Ecclesiastical authorities were gener- 
ally sustained in their legal property rights before the courts, 
and the Cardinal felt that they could always obtain justice. 
There was no discrimination in chaplaincies in the army and 
navy, nor in anything else that the Government had to take 
within its purview. The Vatican, even when it controlled the 
states of the Church, before the spoliation by Victor Emanuel, 
had never had a minister at Washington, though it is interest- 
ing to note that the United States was long represented at its 
court by an accredited member of the diplomatic corps, ap- 
pointed by the President. The first of these ministers was 
James L. Martin, of North Carolina, appointed in 1848; his 
successor was no less a personage than Lewis Cass; and the 
position was abolished in 1868, when Rufus King was min- 

Leo was so far moved by the objections that he decided to 
take no final step at that time ; but an opportunity presented by 


the approach of the World's Fair, soon to be held at Chicago, 
prompted him to make a test of the situation. 

Secretary of State Foster, in September, 1892, requested 
Cardinal Gibbons to confer with him regarding a letter to be 
addressed to the Pope, through Cardinal Rampolla, asking for 
the loan of maps and other relics relating to the discovery of 
America, which were in possession of the Vatican.* The 
Cardinal went to Washington, where Mr. Foster gave him a 
letter, which he promptly transmitted. 

The letter of Mr. Foster began with a request for the loan 
of the relics. *T need not assure you," he wrote, "that the 
greatest care will be taken of them from the moment of their 
delivery into the hands of the agent of this Government who 
may be authorized to receive them ; or, should his Holiness see 
fit to entrust them in the care of a personal representative who 
will bring them to the United States, I am authorized by the 
President to assure his Holiness that such representative shall 
receive all possible courtesy upon his arrival and during his 
sojourn in this country. 

"The intimate association of the Holy See with the Colum- 
bian enterprise and its results has so linked the memory of 
Rome and her pontiffs with the vast achievement of Colum- 
bus and his competitors in the work of discovery and coloniza- 
tion, that an exhibit such as by the President's direction I 
have the honor to suggest could not fail to be among the most 
noteworthy contributions to this international celebration. By 
co-operating to this end, his Holiness will manifest for our coun- 
try a regard which will be highly appreciated, not only by the 
managers of the exposition, but by the American people. 

"His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons, with whom I have con- 
ferred on the subject, has very kindly agreed to convey this 
letter to your Eminence."t 

• Cathedral Archives. 

t Letter of Secretary Foster to Cardinal Rampolla, Sept. 18, 1892. 


Cardinal Rampolla responded promptly, acknowledging the 
transmission of Secretary Foster's letter through the Cardinal, 
and stating that it had been presented to the Pope. 

"His Holiness has learned," wrote Mgr. Rampolla, "how 
great was the gratification felt by the President of this great 
republic at the prospect of receiving the Columbus records, 
which will be sent by the Holy See to the exposition which is 
to be held next year at Chicago in honor of the immortal dis- 
coverer of America. The august Pontiff felt certain that the 
United States Government would spare no pains to preserve 
the various objects that are to be intrusted to it from any mis- 
hap, and he returns his thanks for the kind offer that has been 
made for their transportation. 

"In the meantime, his Holiness, who has so many reasons to 
entertain special regard for the United States Government on 
account of the liberty which is enjoyed in those States by the 
Catholic Church, and who justly admires the enterprise and 
progress of that country, has decided to be represented at the 
public demonstrations which are to be held there in honor of 
the Genoese hero on the fourth centenary of his memorable 
discovery, by a person who is no less distinguished by his per- 
sonal qualities than by his grade in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. 
This person is Mgr. Francesco Satolli, Archbishop of Lepanto, 
a prelate who is as highly to be esteemed on account of his 
virtues as for his profound scholarship, of which he has given 
many evidences in his writings. 

"His Holiness does not doubt that this decision of his will 
be received with pleasure by the Government, and feels sure 
that your Excellency will welcome the prelate with your accus- 
tomed courtesy."* 

In the following November, the Pope commissioned Arch- 
bishop Satolli as temporary apostolic delegate to the American 
Church with plenary power. In addition to this, he was the 

• Letter of Cardinal Rampolla to Secretary Foster, Sept. 28. 1892. 


representative of the Pontiff at the public demonstrations of the 
World's Fair; but he was not accredited to the Government of 
the United States, and had no diplomatic status. Before leav- 
ing Rome as the custodian of the relics, he conferred at length 
M^ith the Pope regarding the ecclesiastical problems with which 
he was to deal on this side of the Atlantic; and, full of the 
spirit and purposes of the head of the Church, sailed for 
America. Leo said to him at parting that he looked with 
flowing tears on the steadily failing Orient, but his heart and 
soul were filled with great joy in seeing the progress of liberty 
in the great Republic of the West. 

His first conference in this country was with Cardinal Gib- 
bons, with whom he spent some time at the archiepiscopal resi- 
dence in Baltimore, absorbing from the Cardinal views of the 
situation which would aid him in the successful transaction of 
his mission. Perhaps it was fortunate that the first apostolic 
delegate had not been trained in the diplomatic school of the 
Vatican. Although a man of remarkable breadth of vi€w and 
sympathies, he was essentially a theologian, and had no im- 
pulse to concern himself with political questions. A native of 
the Diocese of Perugia, he had studied in the seminary of that 
city, which was presided over at the time by Joachim Pecci, 
archbishop of the diocese, destined to be elevated to the pon- 
tifical chair as Leo XIII. When Cardinal Pecci became Pon- 
tiff, he called Satolli to Rome, in whose atmosphere he broad- 
ened. He filled with success important professorships in the 
College of the Propaganda and the Academy of Noble Ecclesi- 
astics. In his early studies he had been fascinated by the 
Thomistic philosophy. His commentary on the Summa of St. 
Thomas, in five volumes, established clearly the profundity of 
his intellect, and other works of his pen procured the honor of 
a special brief of commendation from the Pontiff. 

In appearance, he suggested the thinker. Slight and of 
medium height, his brilliant dark eyes were capable of great 
expression. Surmounting them was a broad and intellectual 


forehead. Mingling with the expression of the scholar were 
strong traces of strength and self-repression, which indicated 
that he was cast in a mold adapted to great affairs. 

Foremost of the problems with which Satolli was to concern 
himself was the school question. It was by no means new. 
From the beginnings of the public school system in the United 
States, Catholics who were taxed for its support and yet who 
sent their children, from conscientious conviction, to the paro- 
chial schools, had felt the desire to be rid of the double burden. 
The special interest of Cardinal Gibbons in education from the 
days when he was a parish priest in Baltimore had brought 
him in intimate touch with the situation. He could not bring 
himself to believe in any form of intellectual training of youth 
in which there was no religious teaching. He feared that a 
secularized childhood would mean an atheistic manhood. 
Abroad, he had noted the spirit of agnosticism and other forms 
of denial of the supernatural in religion. His hope was in the 
American home; if religion and morality did not enter there, 
what of the future of his country? Was it safe to trust the 
children to a form of daily instruction in which they would 
not be taught the elementary religious and moral precepts 
which lie at the foundation of character? 

He had no wish to use the funds of the state for forcing 
the Catholic religion on non-Catholics; but wherever youth 
was to be trained, much as he valued the development of the 
mind, much as he desired a cultured citizenship, his belief was 
that religion was the foundation of true culture, and that with- 
out it at the base, the superstructure would topple of its own 

In his view, it was desirable that the state should contrib- 
ute to the support of Catholic schools only to the extent to 
which the parents of the children in those schools were citi- 
zens. State supervision commended itself to his judgment, if 
it were properly applied. His idea of a public school for 
Catholic children was one under the supervision of the local 


examiner, no matter what his religious faith, subject to regu- 
lation in the use of text-books the same as other schools; in 
discipline, class work, sanitary regulation, and other points 
conforming to the standard set by the public authorities; the 
teachers to be appointed on certificate, subject to the tests pro- 
vided for instructors in the public schools. But, apart from all 
this, he desired that the teachers should be Catholics, and that 
for a portion of the day, perhaps before or after the regular 
school hours, they should instruct the children in the principles 
and practice of religion. An American of Americans, he 
could see nothing un-American in this. 

His interest in education had led him to issue a pastoral let- 
ter on the subject to the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese 
of Baltimore in 1883.* In this he had pointed out how the 
Catholic Church has been the "fostering mother and munificent 
patroness" of secular education. He admonished parents to 
develop the "minds and hearts" of their children. "Then can 
they go forth into the world," he wrote, "gifted with a well- 
furnished mind and great confidence in God." He advised 
that the history of the United States, with the origin and prin- 
ciples of the government, and the lives of the eminent men who 
had helped to found and preserve it, should be an especial ob- 
ject of study, in order that the children might grow up "en- 
lightened citizens and devoted patriots." 

"But it is not enough," he insisted, "for your children to 
have a secular education; they must also acquire a religious 
training. Indeed, religious knowledge is as far above human 
sciences as the soul is above the body; as Heaven is above 
earth ; as eternity is above time. The little child who is famil- 
iar with his catechism is reallv more enlightened on truths that 
should come home to every rational mind than the most pro- 
found philosophers of pagan antiquity, or even than many so- 
called philosophers of our own time. He has mastered the 
great problems of life; he knows his origin, his sublime des- 

• r«th*>rtral Archives. 


tiny, and the means of attaining it — a knowledge which no 
human science can impart without the hght of revelation." 

While a knowledge of bookkeeping was valuable for elemen- 
tary pupils, he showed, it was not enough, unless the child were 
taught how to balance his accounts daily between his con- 
science and his God. "What profit," he asked, "would it be to 
understand the diurnal and annual motions of the earth, if the 
pupil did not know and feel that his future home is beyond the 
stars in heaven?" While it was important to be acquainted 
with the lives of heroes who had founded empires, of men 
of genius who had enlightened the world, it was still more 
necessary to learn something of the King of Kings, who cre- 
ated all those kingdoms and by Whom kings reign. If the 
soul were to die with the body, then, secular education would 
be enough ; but was it wise to train the young for the compara- 
th'ely brief time to be spent in earthly existence and leave them 
v/ithout training for the infinite future beyond this life? 

"Our youth," he wrote, "cherish the hope of becoming one 
day citizens of heaven as well as of this land; and, as they can 
nc t be good citizens of this country without studying and ob- 
serving its laws, neither can they become citizens of heaven, 
unless they know and practice the laws of God." 

He declared as a fundamental principle that the religious 
and secular education of children can not be divorced from 
each other "without inflicting a fatal wound upon the soul." 
A high development of the intellectual without a corresponding 
expansion of the religious nature, he believed, would often prove 
a curse instead of a blessing. His idea of religion was to make 
it an every-day affair, not something to be put on, like a holi- 
day dress, on Sunday. The religious and moral training of the 
young should be interwoven with the thread of daily life. At 
every step, as far as possible, their feet should be guided in the 
paths that would lead to the higher life, which he considered 
the most precious position they could attain. Church and 
Sunday-school were not enough. "They should, as far as pos- 


sible," he wrote, "breathe every day a healthful religious atmos- 
phere in these schools, where not only their minds are enlight- 
ened, but where faith, piety and sound morality are nourished 
and invigorated." 

He also feared that the children of Catholic parents, if they 
did not lose all religion in purely secular schools, might lose 
their own distinctive faith. To him, this was a jewel which 
should be preserved. With all his remarkable liberality, it 
would have been absurd to say that he considered "one church 
as good as another," any more than a minister of the Meth- 
odist, or some other Protestant faith, would have considered 
the Catholic faith "as good as" his own. To his mind, the 
Catholic Church was the divinely appointed agent for the spread 
of the Gospel on earth, and the custodian of the deposit of 
heavenly truth. None ever heard him say a word in reproach 
of any religious denomination or of its members, individually 
or collectively. He could recognize as truly good men who 
differed from him in religious conviction, acknowledging their 
entire sincerity and the common brotherhood of all as the 
children of God. But he considered that it was desirable to 
exercise the utmost efforts, without encroaching upon the rights 
of others, to retain within the fold of his Church all children 
born of Catholic parents. 

The same privilege and duty he freely conceded to Prot- 
estant denominations. They, as far as they desired, might im- 
part religious instruction to children of their own faith in con- 
nection with the branches of profane learning. The greatest 
danger of all, in his view, was the rearing of the young with- 
out the guidance of any church, without moral instruction, 
without character-building apart from the cultivation of the in- 
tellect. Without parochial schools, he saw danger that the 
parishes would languish in the midst of the corrupting ten- 
dencies of modern life. He did not, for a moment, question 
the sincerity or underrate the zeal of those who believed in 
secular education in the schools ; as far as their view extended, 


he sympathized with it. But his contention was, that the 
system did not go far enough and embrace rehgious training 

Some priests and laymen in Baltimore set on foot a move- 
ment, in 1893, to obtain from the public authorities an appro- 
priation for Catholic schools.* A circular embodying their 
views was distributed, and preparations were made to intro- 
duce in the Maryland Legislature a bill in conformity with 
them. This proposed bill provided that denominational schools 
be incorporated by the State; that the trustees of such schools 
should have the right of selecting their own teachers; that the 
teachers should be required to pass the regular examinations 
provided by the public authorities as tests for competency ; that 
the schools should be subject to inspection and regulation by 
those authorities; that the denominational school buildings 
should be rented to the city or State at the nominal sum of one 
dollar a year each, which, it was urged, would save the State 
from an expense of some hundreds of thousands of dollars; 
and that the teachers be paid from the public funds. 

The preamble to the bill declared with emphasis that its 
adoption meant no form of union of church with state. "As 
the state is not united to any particular religious denomi- 
nation," it declared, "the state is not expected to teach re- 
ligion; but it can be supplied by public denominational 

If the support of Cardinal Gibbons to this program could be 
enlisted, it was intended to launch the project. But he firmly 
refused to countenance it, and his influence was sufficient to 
crush the movement before it had been directly brought to the 
attention of the Legislature. He was persuaded that the time 
was not yet ripe for an annual concession by the Legislature 
of an appropriation for the support of Catholic schools. He 
made it clear that the circular which had been prepared did not 

• Reily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. Ill, p. 200 et seq. 


emanate from him, and was not drafted or published with his 
authorization, and the movement in Maryland soon subsided. 

He approved the reading of the Bible in the public schools, 
if no other form of religious instruction could be provided. A 
year later, addressing the president of the Chicago Women's 
Educational Union, he wrote : 

"The men and women of our day who are educated in our 
public schools will, I am sure, be much better themselves, and 
will also be able to transmit to their children an inheritance 
of truth, virtue and deep morality, if at school they are brought 
to a knowledge of Biblical facts and teachings. A judicious 
selection of Scripture readings; appropriate presentation of 
the various Scripture incidents, born of reflection on the pas- 
sages read and scenes presented — can not but contribute, in 
my opinion, to the better education of the children in our pub- 
lic schools, and thus exercise a healthy influence on society at 
large, since the principles of morality and religion will be 
silently instilled while instruction is imparted in branches of 
human knowledge."* 

He clung to the hope that the problem would be worked out 
without excitement or injustice. Speaking at the dedication 
of a handsome building for St. Joseph's school of the Balti- 
more Cathedral, in September, 1892, he said: 

"I trust that the Catholic schools will one day become in 
some way connected with the public school system." 

Throughout the United States, Catholics held about the 
same views regarding the proper method of public education. 
The decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, over 
which Cardinal Gibbons had presided, plainly and forcibly 
urged the development of the parochial schools, but refused to 
impose any penalty upon parents who thought it best for their 
children to attend the public schools. 

An experiment which Archbishop Ireland undertook at the 
towns of Faribault and Stillwater, Minnesota, served as a 

• Reily. Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. Ill, p. 173. 


storm center for a great controversy which sprang up because 
of the personaHty of the St. Paul prelate himself rather than 
from the novelty of his methods. 1 o such an extent was atten- 
tion focused upon him that when the question became suddenly 
inflamed in the early nineties, the designation "Faribault Plan" 
was often bestowed upon the whole problem. As far as gen- 
eral questions were concerned, the Plenary Council had settled 
them ; but as the temper of the times seemed to make a test case 
necessary, the controversy in the Diocese of St. Paul was car- 
ried to Rome itself. 

The hostility directed at Archbishop Ireland was not alone 
founded upon the school system which he introduced, but was 
interwoven with other questions that were beginning to force 
themselves upon the consideration of the Church in America. 
It seemed to be his fate to draw fire wherever he went. A 
crusader by nature, nothing would have pleased him better 
than to die fighting on the sands of the desert, in full armor, 
stricken down by the blow of a Mameluke scimitar. His pow- 
erful convictions could hardly be repressed on any occasion. 
He never acted hastily; but once his conclusion was formed, 
and fortified by the verdict of his conscience, merely temporal 
considerations had no weight with him. According to his view, 
the American people were fair, and would in time see that jus- 
tice was done, no matter how fierce might be the storm of popu- 
lar misunderstanding. 

The situation at Faribault and Stillwater, where Arch- 
bishop Ireland made an arrangement with the public authori- 
ties, was buried under a cloud of misunderstanding. So many 
exaggerated accounts were given of its nature and purposes, 
that an impartial consideration of it in the public mind was, 
for a time, impossible. When the archbishops assembled in 
St. Louis, in 1891, at the celebration of Mgr. Kenrick's episco- 
pal jubilee, this was among the topics which they considered in 
council. Cardinal Gibbons, in virtue of his primacy, presided, 


and asked Archbishop Ireland to explain in detail what had 
been done. 

Mgr. Ireland made an explanation with simplicity and 
frankness. He went so far as to say that he was happy to 
submit his action to the cognizance of his colleagues, and ready 
to retrace his steps if they thought he had passed the limits of 
right and prudence. The agreement between himself and the 
School Commissioners of Faribault and Stillwater he stated 
as follows : 

"1. The school buildings remain the property of the parish. They are 
leased to the school commissioners during the school hours only — that is, 
from 9 A. M. to 3.45 P. M. Outside these hours they are at the sole dis- 
posal of the parish ; the pastor and the Sisters who teach can hold in 
them such exercises as they deem proper. The lease is for one year 
only; at the end of the year, the archbishop may renew the lease or 
resume the exclusive control of the buildings. 

"2. The teachers must hold diplomas from the State, and the progress 
of the pupils is determined, as to the various branches of profane learn- 
ing, by parochial examinations held in conformity with official require- 
ments. The class rooms have been furnished and are kept by the 
school commission, and the Sisters receive the same salaries as are 
paid to the ordinary teachers. 

"3. During school hours, the Sisters give no religious instruction; 
but as they are not only Catholics, but also members of a religious 
order, they wear their religious habits, and do not alter their teachings 
in any respect. The schools, although under the control of the State, 
are, in respect to instruction, precisely what they were before the ar- 
rangement was made. The Sisters teach the catechism after school 
hours, in such a way that the pupils notice merely a change from one 
lesson to another. Besides, at 8.30 A. M., that is, before the regular 
school hour, the children attend mass; and on Sundays, the school 
buildings are at the exclusive disposition of the parish. 

"4. The public schools are scattered in various parts of Minnesota 
cities, and children are required to attend the school in the district 
wherein they live. Faribault and Stillwater are excepted from this 
rule. Catholic children can attend the schools in question from all parts 
of the cities; the Protestant children living in the districts where our 
schools are situated may do so, but are not obliged. The result is that 
almost all the Catholic children of the two cities attend these schools, 


whereas there are very few Protestants, and the influence is almost 
wholly Catholic." 

After Mgr. Ireland's explanation and his answers, not one 
of the archbishops offered a word of blame; many were ex- 
plicit in approval. Archbishop Williams, of Boston, did not 
hesitate to say that he congratulated his colleague on the result 
obtained ; that his own wish would be to submit the schools of 
his diocese to a similar arrangement, and that he hoped to suc- 
ceed, at least as to some. It was pointed out in the discussion 
that the teachers were paid more highly than the parish could 
afford to pay them ; Catholics had no longer to pay the double 
tax to the public school and the parochial school, and the pas- 
tor no longer had to worry to find the necessary money to 
carry on the school — money often impossible to procure with- 
out recourse to means inconvenient for more than one reason, 
and sometimes gravely so. Almost all the Catholic children 
of these two cities were under religious influence. 

In placing these two schools under the school boards, which 
were only local or municipal organizations, Mgr. Ireland did 
not intend to invalidate the principle of the parochial school, 
though he had been accused of so intending. His plan was to 
save two schools which were perishing, and to procure for the 
large number of children in Faribault and Stillwater the re- 
ligious influence of which they were deprived in the public 

It was also true that Archbishop Ireland had not even made 
an innovation; that many schools were under similar rule in 
different dioceses; for example, in New York, Milwaukee, 
Albany, Buffalo, Erie, Harrisburg, Peoria, Rochester and Sa- 

"No one," Cardinal Gibbons remarked, "had dreamed of rais- 
ing objections and of accusing the bishops and priests of these 
dioceses of unfaithfulness to their mission and of treason to 
the* Church; but the passions were stirred up the instant Mgr. 
Ireland had acted." 


Archbishop Ireland, with characteristic boldness, carried his 
own case to Rome, leaving St. Paul early in January, 1892, on 
that mission. He won at every point. At a special congre- 
gation of the Propaganda held April 21, a decision was 
reached that — "Without derogating from the decrees of the 
Councils of Baltimore on parochial schools, the arrangement 
entered into by Archbishop Ireland concerning the schools at 
Faribault and Stillwater, taking into consideration all the cir- 
cumstances, can be tolerated." 

In an audience held the same day, the Pope approved this 
action; and in July Cardinal Ledochowski, Prefect of the 
Propaganda, addressed letters* to Cardinal Gibbons advising 
that the archbishops at their next reunion search with care for 
a means of supplying the religious needs of Catholic children 
who, outside the* system of the parochial schools, frequented 
in great numbers the public schools. 

The archbishops met in New York November 17, 1892, 
Archbishop Satolli, who had recently arrived in this country, 
was present, and spoke with authority as Papal Delegate re- 
garding the general lines for working out the school question. 
He outlined fourteen propositions, basing them upon the de- 
crees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, which were 
still in force. He quoted from these decrees the declaration 
that all care must be taken to erect Catholic schools, to enlarge 
and improve those already established, and to make them equal 
to the public schools in teaching and discipline. When there 
was no Catholic school, or when the one that was available was 
little fitted for giving the children an education in keeping with 
their condition, he pointed out that the Council had decreed 
that the public schools might be attended with a safe con- 
science. In cases where it was necessary for Catholic children 
to attend the public schools, measures to provide for their re- 
ligious instruction were to be taken by the parish priest. 

• Cathedral Archives. 


The Papal Delegate called attention to the decree strictly- 
forbidding anyone, whether bishop or priest, either by act or by 
threat, to exclude from the sacraments, as unworthy, persons 
who chose to send their children to the public schools, or the 
children themselves. 

"The Catholic Church in general," he continued, "and espe- 
cially the Holy See, far from condemning or treating with in- 
difference the public schools, desires rather that by the joint 
action of civil and ecclesiastical authorities there should be 
public schools in every state, as the circumstances of the 
people require, for the cultivation of the useful arts and the 
natural sciences; but the Catholic Church shrinks from those 
features of public schools which are opposed to the truths of 
Christianity and to morality ; and since in the interest of society 
itself, these objectionable features are removable, therefore, 
not only the bishops, but the citizens at large, should labor to 
remove them, in virtue of their own right and in the cause of 

The Archbishop went on to say that public schools bore 
within themselves approximate danger to faith and morals, 
because in them a purely secular education was given, and also 
because teachers were chosen indiscriminately from every sect, 
"and no law prevents them from working the ruin of youth, 
in tender minds." He also considered it a serious objection 
that in many of such schools children of both sexes were 
brought together for their lessons in the same room. 

But the Archbishop proceeded to say that "if it be clear that 
in a given locality, owing to the wise dispositions of public au- 
thorities, or to the watchful prudence of school boards, teach- 
ers and parents, the above dangers to faith and morals disap- 
pear, then, it is lawful for Catholic parents to send their chil- 
dren to these schools to acquire the elements of letters and arts, 
providing the parents themselves do not neglect their most seri- 
ous duty, and the pastors of souls put forth every effort to in- 


struct the children and train them in all that pertains to Cath- 
olic worship and life." 

The Archbishop touched on the Faribault plan by saying 
that it was greatly to be desired and would be a most happy 
arrangement, if the bishops should agree with the civil authori- 
ties or with the members of school boards to conduct the 
schools with mutual attention and due consideration for their 
respective rights. He urgently advised that steps be taken to 
raise the standard of instruction in Catholic schools, and that 
normal schools should be established for the preparation of 

The declaration of Archbishop Satolli was an official one as 
a representative of the Pope; and the archbishops closed their 
sessions with an expression of gratitude and satisfaction with 
the way he had fulfilled his commission. After the meeting 
Leo took the additional precaution to secure from each of them 
a private letter fully opening his mind on the subject. From 
these, he gathered that there was still a doubt on the part of 
some as to whether the decrees of the Council of Baltimore 
had not been abrogated, in part, by the Archbishop's interpre- 
tation. He took the opportunity to settle the whole question 
by a letter, which he addressed to Cardinal Gibbons, and which 
decided the controversy by final authority. 

The Pontiff began by announcing his intention to establish 
permanently an apostolic delegation at Washington. He ex- 
pressed his satisfaction with what Satolli had done, declaring: 
"The principal propositions offered by him were drawn from 
the decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore; and 
especially declare that Catholic schools are to be most sedu- 
lously promoted, and that it has been left to the judgment and 
conscience of the Ordinary to decide according to the circum- 
stances when it is lawful and when unlawful to attend the 
public schools." 

• Satolli, Loyalty to Chnrch and State, p. 27 et seg. 


These decrees, the Pontiff stated, were to be faithfully ob- 
served, so far as they contained a general rule of action. 
Although the public schools were not to be entirely condemned, 
since cases might occur, as the council itself had foreseen, in 
which it was lawful to attend them; still, every endeavor 
should be made to multiply the Catholic schools and to bring 
them to perfect equipment. "Wherefore," concluded the Pon- 
tiff, "we confidently hope (and your devotedness to us and to 
the Apostolic See increases our confidence) that, having put 
away every cause of error and all anxiety, you will work to- 
gether, with hearts united and with perfect charity, for the 
wider and wider spread of the Kingdom of God in your im- 
mense country. But, while industriously laboring for the glory 
of God and the salvation of the souls entrusted to your care, 
strive also to promote the welfare of your fellow-citizens and 
to prove the earnestness of your love for your country, so that 
they who are entrusted with the administration of the govern- 
ment may clearly recognize how strong an influence for the 
support of public order and for the advancement of public 
prosperity is to be found in the Catholic Church. 

"And as to yourself, beloved son, we know for certain that 
you will not only communicate to our other venerable brethren 
in the United States this our mind, which it hath seemed good 
to us to make known to you, but that you will also strive with 
all your power that, the controversy being not only calmed, 
but totally ended, as is so greatly to be desired, the minds 
which have been excited by it may peacefully be united in mu- 
tual good-will."* 

Along these lines the settlement of the school question was 
worked out. In time, the flames of controversy which had 
sprung up around the personality of Archbishop Ireland and 
his experiments in Minnesota subsided. His enemies had 
made use of the situation for a twofold purpose : some, to 

•Letter of Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons, May 31, 1893 (Cathedral Archive!?). 


make it appear that he was compromising CathoHc principles 
of education by submerging them in his own diocese, and 
accepting the principle of purely secular schools; others, that 
he was making war upon the public schools by insidiously at- 
tempting to undermine them by the introduction of sectarian 

Archbishop Satolli, the warm friend of Cardinal Gibbons 
and of Archbishop Ireland, lost no opportunity of defending 
the motives and prudence of both ; and, in time, the questions 
which were agitating the Church found new foci. 

The controversy regarding religious influences in education 
spread far beyond the cities and towns of the United States, 
and out over the great prairies, where stood the isolated mis- 
sion schools erected by the Church for the instruction of the 
Indians. Cardinal Gibbons had been deeply interested in these 
outposts of Catholic missionary endeavor, and when a general 
assault upon them was begun, he girded himself for the de- 
fense. The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions had been origi- 
nated in 1874 by his predecessor. Archbishop Bay ley, for the 
purpose of carrying on a work begun by the zealous priests 
of Spain and France who followed in the wake of Columbus 
and Champlain. When President Grant, deciding that it was 
"better to Christianize than to kill," inaugurated his "Peace 
Policy," the Catholic and Protestant denominations were urged 
to maintain schools on the reservations, the teachers and other 
employees, though in effect appointed by the various denomi- 
nations, being put on the Government payroll. Later, the 
practice was adopted of making formal contracts with religious 
bodies conducting schools for the tuition and support of Indian 
pupils who could be induced to attend them. This was called 
the "contract system," and under it the Government appro- 
priations to Catholic Indian mission schools reached a maxi- 
mum of $397,756 in 1892. These schools multiplied greatly 
in numbers and efficiency. The heirs of Francis A. Drexel, of 
Philadelphia, gave largely from their great wealth to the cause, 


and one of them — Mother M. Katharine Drexel — consecrated 
her hfe to the welfare of the Indians and negroes, founding 
for their special benefit the missionary congregation of the 
Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.* 

Simultaneously with the development of the school contro- 
versy elsewhere, hostile public sentiment was aroused, chiefly 
through the efforts of the "American Protective Association," 
and strong pressure was exerted on Congress to abolish all 
aid to sectarian schools. In time this had its effect. Congress 
began in 1895 to curtail the appropriations for the contract 
schools, and two years laterf declared it to be the settled 
policy of the Government "to make hereafter no appropriation 
whatever for education in any sectarian school." In 1900 it 
made what it termed the "final appropriation" for this pur- 
pose; but the Catholic Bureau, though staggering under its 
burden, kept up the work by means of funds obtained largely 
through Lenten collections in the churches and the generosity 
of Mother Drexel. 

The bureau was incorporated in 1894, and two years later 
Cardinal Gibbons was elected its president, which office he con- 
tinues to hold. So strongly did he feel on the question, that 
he addressed a petition to Congress December 5, 1898, in be- 
half of himself and the other archbishops of the United States, 
urging a reopening of the contract school question, and an 
inquiry concerning the whole subject of Indian education. J 
He took the ground that an impartial investigation by a com- 
mittee of Congress would show the great benefits of Catholic 
Indian education, and that only harm could come to the Indians 
by abandoning it. He declared the system "an essential ele- 
ment in the solution of the Indian problem — a system which 
could not be called sectarian, and yet did actually put the 

• "Our Catholic Indian Missions," a paper read before the Catholic Mis5ionary 
Congi-ess in Chicago, November 10, 1898, by Rev. Wm. H. Ketcham, director of 
the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. 

t Act of .lune 7, 1897. 

t Records of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. 


spirit of Christianity into the educational work of the Govern- 
ment and enabled the Government to use the indispensable 
factor of Christianity in the effort to elevate a race below us 
in civilization." From the beginning of the work he traced 
the labors which had been undertaken, the obstacles met, the 
successes obtained. 

"Certainly we are justified," he wrote," in saying that the 
well-informed on the subject cannot escape the conclusion that 
the mission school is better adapted to the civilization of the 
Indian than any other. In the mission school are engaged 
men and women set apart for its special work ; men and women 
who, through noble inspiration, have chosen this field in which 
to do lifework in the cause of humanity and to the glory of 
God. They are selected for the work by the several denomina- 
tions employing them, not only because of their scholastic at- 
tainments, but also because their devotion to the Christian 
religion has been evidenced by the purity of their lives." 

Even after Congress had ceased its appropriations, the 
bureau did not accept defeat. It took the ground, with the 
Cardinal's hearty support, that appropriations for the contract 
schools could still be made out of the tribal funds of the In- 
dians, which were their own property and not public moneys 
of the people of the United States. President Roosevelt, after 
obtaining from the Attorney-General an opinion that this view 
was legally correct, sanctioned new contracts in cases where 
the Indians expressed the wish, by petition, to have a portion 
of their funds so used. Although a determined effort was 
made to secure the enactment of legislation prohibiting the use 
of tribal funds for the support of religious schools, the influ- 
ence of the "A. P. A." had waned, and Congress refused to do 
so. By a decision of the United States Supreme Court, the 
course of President Roosevelt was fully sustained.* Congress 
also ordered a resumption of the distribution of rations to the 

• May 18, 1908. 


children in mission schools, which had been withheld by the 
Indian Office for five years. 

Cardinal Gibbons' sympathy with the dependent races in- 
habiting his country was so strong that it took the form of a 
personal characteristic; and none felt greater anxiety than he 
during the period of grave trial through which the Bureau of 
Indian missions passed. He adhered to the Catholic view 
that when the Indian's faith in his own pagan creed is shattered 
by education, it will not do to turn him adrift without any 
creed, but that something must be put in the place of what has 
been taken away. To all denominations he conceded equal 
rights in the field of missionary labor, but to him it seemed 
indefensible that the light of Christianity should be shut out 
from the eyes of the young Indian in the schoolroom where 
his steps were to be guided up the steep path that led from the 
darkness of aboriginal savagery. 


Americanism : the Cahensly Question. 

Simultaneous in its development with the school controversy 
was the question of "Americanism," which embraced within 
itself, to a greater or lesser degree, all the other problems of the 
Church in America in the last two decades of the nineteenth 
century. It directly involved the nationalization of the for- 
eign elements which were crowding into the population of the 
country ; and, indirectly, the broader consideration of whether 
the Church in the United States should retain the distinctive 
character in which she had been clothed by Cardinal Gibbons 
and other apostles of progressive thought, or whether she 
should become responsive to the reactionary influences develop- 
ing in Europe. The latter was in conflict with all that Cardinal 
Gibbons had done or hoped to do. His steady purpose had 
been to bring the Catholic Church out into the brilliant sunlight 
of public opinion and display her as a tremendous and benevo- 
lent power, closely in touch with the political and economic in- 
stitutions of every country, but entangled with none. 

His plans would fail if the Church were to mingle in for- 
eign politics. He had asked no favors from the Government, 
and desired no discrimination. In his view, the Government 
existed for the purposes decreed in the Constitution which he 
admired so much, and it was not one of those purposes to con- 
cern itself about questions directly concerning religion. All 
forms of religious belief had the same opportunities under the 



American flag.* Catholics in their faith adhered, without 
fraction of modification, to the universal Church as founded 
by the apostles and transmitted through ages of struggle by the 
fathers from generation to generation. This concerned only 
their religious belief; it had nothing to do with questions of 
language or race or politics. Catholics were citizens or sub- 
jects of the country in which they lived. Upon the basis of 
their spiritual and moral natures as developed by the minis- 
trations of the Church might be found fruitful soil for the 
flower of patriotism. An American was no more and no less 
an American because he was a Catholic ; no more and no less 
a man because his supreme spiritual shepherd on earth w^as the 

In America, separated by 3,000 miles of ocean from Europe, 
the Church could lend herself to nothing of a political or social 
nature which might be at variance with the ideals of the 
nation. There could be no divided allegiance; the Catholic 
was either an American or a foreigner. If an American, he 
must be an American in every sense, and cast in his lot without 
reservation among the people w-ho were his fellow-citizens. 
Apart from the public policy of this, apart from the broad- 
minded wisdom which inspired it, it comported with the cardi- 
nal's own aspirations as a man and a citizen. He regarded the 
institutions of his country as the best in the world. With sor- 
row he saw them sometimes perverted to base uses ; and when 
occasion presented itself, he never failed to raise his voice 
against abuses that crept into the body politic. He knew the 
dangers of popular government ; but he also knew the perils of 
less liberal systems. In the atmosphere of freedom he found the 
best final solution for all merely material questions which af- 

* Dr. rhllip Schaff. in Church and State in the United States, p. 9. defines the 
American system as "a free church in a free state, or a self-supporting and self- 
governing Christianity in independent but friendly relation to the civil govern- 


fected mankind. His political ideals clustered around the 
fathers of the republic, in whom he found exemplars for the 
men of his own generation. He maintained that the duty of 
the Catholic, which was nothing more nor less than the duty 
of the citizen, was to identify himself, without thought of 
religious discrimination, with all that concerned the best that 
was in American institutions, setting his face firmly against 
corruption, the evils of partisan politics, economic wrong and 
social disorder. 

Foreigners who came to these shores he welcomed as Cath- 
olics, if they happened to be such; but, at all events, as Ameri- 
cans of the future; men of the same origin, either directly or 
remotely, as all who had peopled the country ; men who would, 
in time, share In the responsibilities, the burdens, the honors of 
citizenship, and become as thorough upholders of the Ameri- 
can idea as were those whose ancestors had come earlier from 
the Old World to seek better opportunities in the New. 

He deeply realized that the most effective argument, how- 
ever absurd, which had been used against the Church in periods 
of religious intolerance, from Colonial days down through 
the first century of American independence, had been that she 
possessed, in some measure, a foreign tinge. He had thrown 
the whole fervor of his being into a battle of years to dissipate 
this view. His success had been amazing; and it would have 
crushed him, had the results been snatched away at the last 

He had the sympathy, the approval and the ready support 
of Leo XIII ; a large majority of the archbishops of the United 
States were one with him in spirit and purpose ; the American 
laity hailed him as the pattern of citizenship; and non-Catho- 
lics, without distinction of creed, regarded him as an American 
of Americans. No wonder, then, that when an assault was con- 
templated upon the corner-stone of his characteristic policies, 
he should throw himself into the struggle with all his energy. 


The widespread agitation about "Americanism," which be- 
gan in the late eighties, was attributed in part to Herr Peter 
Cahensly, secretary of the Archangel Raphael Society for the 
Protection of German Emigrants, and was often referred to as 
"Cahenslyism." This society had been formed for the laudable 
purpose of promoting the spiritual welfare of settlers in for- 
eign countries. It had done a notable work, when its aims sud- 
denly widened so as to include within its scope the preservation 
of the nationality and language of those who emigrated from 
Europe. It had caught a breath from the gust of militant 
Pan-Germanism, which, starting on the banks of the Elbe and 
the Weser, swept through the Teutonic realms and the diverse 
peoples embraced within the Austrian empire, spread into 
Russia, thence to the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and 
wherever a German might go from his native town or farm to 
begin life anew. 

Pan-Germanism was a vivid dream, springing from natural 
causes that took their root in the unification of the Empire by 
Bismarck and its closer welding by Wilhelm 11. From the 
time of the Napoleonic wars, when the German principalities, 
divided against themselves, lay crushed and humbled at the feet 
of the conqueror, the national spirit of Germania had slept 
until awakened by the magic touch of the man of blood and 
iron. Now rising from its slumber, it shook itself like a lion, 
and, half uncertain of its real destiny, wrestled with its own 
fierce energy. Pan-Germanism had its prototype in the Pan- 
Hellenism of the ancient world. It was an aspiration which 
any race might justly cherish. The hope was not so much to 
promote a political object, as to spread and consoHdate through- 
out the world Teutonic ideals of character and culture; but, in 
time, this might be made to serve political and commercial 
ends. If the German emigrants who were pouring at the rate 
of 400,000 a year into America, Africa, and even into Asia, 
could be made to retain their national spirit and customs, their 
race solidarity, some day there might be a greater Germany, 


which, like a very Colossus, would bestride the world. Ger- 
man influence might predominate throughout the hemispheres. 
Should the Fatherland be threatened by another Napoleon, or 
should Russia and France carry an alliance to the extent of 
closing in with their united power upon the new empire, an 
army might spring up across the seas that would defy the 
power of any who might seek to despoil the temple of their 

It was felt that Germany was losing all the time by the with- 
drawal of some of its best and strongest elements to seek a 
new start in life under conditions more propitious to material 
prosperity. When they left they were none the less Germans, 
and they cherished the ideals of their ancestors, as Teutons 
have done since the days of the great Hermann ; but they were 
soon absorbed across the seas by the peoples among whom they 
settled, and in a few generations all trace of their origin was 

Though the Germans were the backbone of the Cahensly 
movement, Italians, French, Poles, and others became involved 
in it to some extent. In Italy, the Marchese Volpi Landi, and 
in France, the Abbe Villaneuve, championed the same cause. 
After years of agitation, the Archangel Raphael Society car- 
ried the case to Rome itself. At an international congress 
held at Lucerne in December, 1890, it decided to address a 
memorial to the Holy See, setting forth its petition. 

This memorial began by declaring that the losses yvhich the 
Church had sustained in the United States amounted to more 
than ten millions, caused by immigrants and their descendants 
falling away from the faith. As a remedy, it proposed the 
formation of immigrants into separate parishes, congregations 
or missions, according to nationality, and that the direction 
of these parishes should be confined to priests of the same 
nationality. "In this wise," the memorial set forth, "the sweet- 
est and most cherished relations of the fatherland would be 


constantly brought to the immigrants, who would love the 
Church all the more for procuring them these benefits." 

In parts of the country where immigrants of different nation- 
alities had settled in too limited numbers to form a separate 
parish for each, the memorial asked that a priest should be 
selected for the care of each group who would be conversant 
with the respective languages spoken, and use in his ministra- 
tions to each the distinctive tongue to which the parishioner 
had been accustomed. It was recommended that parochial 
schools be provided, in which instruction should be given in 
the native language of the parents. The organization of 
Catholic societies founded on nationality was also advised. 

The core of the question w^as summed up in this wise : 

"It would be most desirable that as often as might be judged 
feasible, the Catholics of every nationality should have in the 
episcopate of the country to w^hich they have emigrated some 
bishops of their own race. It seems that such an organization 
of the Church would be perfect. Every different nationality 
of immigrants would be represented, and their respective inter- 
ests and needs protected or cared for at the meeting of bishops 
in council." 

The real object of those in America, as well as in Europe, 
who advocated the Cahensly movement, was to have the bish- 
ops appointed by nationality, according to population; if, for 
instance, the Germans formed one-sixth of the Catholic popu- 
lation, it was desired that one-sixth of the bishops should be 
chosen from those who spoke that language and would use it in 
the transaction of their official duties. 

In conclusion, the memorial begged special protection for 
the seminaries and other schools instituted in Europe for the 
education of missionaries to work among the emigrants, and 
help for the Archangel Raphael societies was invoked. The 
Pope was urged to appoint a cardinal protector as a guardian 
for these societies.* 

* Reily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. Ill, part 3, pp. 7, 8, 9. 


In a subsequent memorial, from the same source, presented 
to Leo in June, 1891, the demands of the Cahensly element 
were presented with even more vigor, and with considerable 
amplification of argument. It was set forth that "the current 
which is carrying away to America populations of different 
nationalities is already formidable. In the future, it is likely 
to become irresistible." Statistics were appended, stating that 
439,400 Catholics had left Europe for the American continent 
during the year 1889; of these, 178,900 came to the United 
States. It was declared that calculations based on authorita- 
tive statistics showed that Catholic immigrants and their chil- 
dren ought to constitute in the United States a population of 
26,000,000, though the number of Catholics in the country did 
not much exceed 10,000,000. "Catholicity, therefore," asserts 
the memorial, "has sustained, up to the present date, a loss of 
16,000,000 in the great American republic." 

Causes for desertion of their faith by Catholics were enu- 
merated. These included lack of sufficient protection for the 
immigrants at the time of their departure from home, during 
the voyage, and on their arrival in America; insufficiency of 
priests and parishes of their own nationalities; pecuniary sac- 
rifices — "often exorbitant" — that were exacted of the faith- 
ful ; the public schools ; insufficiency of Catholic societies based 
on nationality and language, and lack of representation for 
difiFerent nationalites of immigrants in the episcopate. It was 
vehemently argued that immigrants and their descendants who 
forgot their language also forgot their religion. Regarding 
the all-important question of bishops, the memorial declared: 

"Bishops who are strangers to the spirit, character, habits and 
customs of other nations can not, in the required measure, 
despite their virtues, knowledge and zeal, appreciate and effec- 
tually attend to the wants of these nations. Again, the har- 
mony and concord between the different nationalities are 
affected. If the episcopate be handed over almost exclusively 
to one nationality to the detriment of others, a feeling of un- 


easiness, of general discontent, is created among these last — a 
feeling which assumes the proportion of disastrous interna- 
tional rivalries. It is desired that concord and harmony 
should reign among the different nations that go to make up 
the Church of the United States. Nothing is more desirable; 
nothing more esential. The only way to attain this end is to 
give to every one of these nations bishops of their own, who 
will represent their respective nations in the episcopal body, 
just as those nations are represented among the parochial clergy 
and among the faithful."* 

From the viewpoint of Germans in America who sympa- 
thized with the Cahensly agitation, the question had been em- 
bodied in a pamphlet prepared by Rev. P. M. Abbelen, Vicar- 
General of the Diocese of Milwaukee, which was submitted to 
the Propaganda in November, 1886. Archbishop Ireland and 
Bishop Keane were in Rome at the time, having gone there to 
discuss with the Propaganda plans for the establishment of the 
Catholic university ; and they availed themselves of the oppor- 
tunity to make a vigorous reply. They repudiated the idea that 
there was any question between German and Irish Catholics, and 
insisted that the only question which could be considered was 
that "between the English language, which is the language of 
the United States, and the German language, which emigrants 
from Germany have brought to the United States." They in- 
sisted that there was not even a sign of a conflict of races in 
America. They pointed out that there were no Irish parishes, 
and no efforts had been made to establish them ; that the Irish 
readily assimilated with the rest of the population, and were 
second to none in their devotion to American ideals. 

Proceeding with their argument, they showed that there 
were many diverse nationalities in addition to the Germans, 
and that if bishops were allowed to each in proportion to pop- 

• Reily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. Ill, part 3, pp. 9 to 13. 


ulation, unity of Church government would be at an end. They 
pronounced as reprehensible the complaint which had been 
made at a reunion of Bohemian societies in a previous year, 
that up to that time there had been no Bohemian in the Ameri- 
can episcopate. 

Regarding the Germans, they declared that the people of 
that nationality were not, by any means, a unit in support of 
the Cahensly point of view. There existed "what we may 
call the active party, whose object seems to be to preserve in- 
tact the German spirit among immigrants and their descend- 
ants, and to prevent them from changing their language for the 
English language, and to give a preponderating position to 
German influence in the Church in America." This was the 
party for which Father Abbelen spoke, and in behalf of which 
he was even then in Rome. They denied that he had in any 
way a representative character. The project of establishing 
a permanent Germany in America, it was shown, was approved 
only by a comparatively small proportion of immigrants, the 
great majority of whom desired complete and early identifica- 
tion with the institutions and language of their adopted 

It was conceded that the German immigrants should have 
facilities for themselves and for their children to practice their 
religion in the language most familiar to them. To this end, 
the American bishops had been multiplying churches for the 
benefit of different nationalities. Yet, it was the tendency of 
the immigrant to get away from such a church as soon as pos- 
sible, and to identify himself with the great mass of the people. 
German children who were taught their native language in the 
school spoke English by preference when they entered the 
recreation yard. The churches established for foreigners, and 
in which foreign languages were spoken from the pulpit and 
in the confessional, were constantly losing by the departure of 
parishioners to English-speaking parishes, though gaining, 
naturally, through the arrivals from Europe. 


"The Church will never be strong in America," they con- 
tinued; "she will never be sure of keeping within her fold the 
descendants of immigrants, Irish as well as others, until she has 
gained a decided ascendency among the Americans themselves. 
Thank God, the time seems favorable for their conversion; 
prejudices are disappearing; there is a distinct movement 
toward the Church. To accelerate it, the Church naturally 
must, as far as it can be done without danger to other interests, 
be presented in a form attractive to Americans. The great 
objection which they have until now urged against her — an 
objection which at certain periods of their history they enter- 
tained so strongly as even to raise persecution — is that the 
Catholic Church is composed of foreigners ; that it exists in 
America as a foreign institution, and that it is, consequently, 
a menace to the existence of the nation." 

They insisted that there was no desire to exclude Germans 
from the American episcopate; but that only those should be 
bishops who knew the language of the country well, who un- 
derstood the needs of the Church, and who could eradicate 
from themselves foreign nationalism.* 

Cardinal Gibbons wrote to the Pontiff, fully stating his own 
views on the question. These were subsequently adopted at a 
meeting of the archbishops in Philadelphia, by whom a strong 
protest against Cahenslyism was drawn up and sent to the 
Propaganda. They urged three basic principles : 

First, there should exist among all the parishes of the United 
States, without distinction of nationality, a perfect equality, 
and each should be independent of the other. 

Second, it is not necessary that any privilege be accorded to 
any nationality in the administration of dioceses and parishes. 

• Letter of Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane to Cardinal Slmeonl, Prefect 
of the Propaganda, Dec. 6, 1886. 


Third, it is the plain duty of every bishop to do his utmost 
that all the faithful of all languages who may be in his diocese 
be taken care of with the same charity. 

Cardinal Gibbons felt that there was great danger that the 
harmony and fraternal affection which had existed among the 
prelates of the United States would be broken. He insisted 
that the only way to arrest the evil was to refuse to recognize 
any distinction in the government of the Church; for, if one 
nationality were accorded special privileges, others would de- 
mand them also. 

The Germans would have been glad to obtain the assistance 
of Cardinal Gibbons in behalf of the Cahensly movement. 
Throughout their agitation, most of them spoke of him with 
respect and even filial affection, because his conduct in the Dio- 
cese of Baltimore had been such as to remove any ground for 
charges of discrimination on account of nationality. The 
largest congregation in the city — St. Michael's — was German, 
presided over by Redemptorist Fathers, who conducted their 
ministrations in their own language. There were admirable 
church facilities for all German immigrants to be instructed 
in their own tongue. Poles, Bohemians, and other nationali- 
ties were similarly provided for. The Cardinal frequently 
visited these churches and co-operated with the pastors in the 
care of their flocks. The religious and material welfare of the 
immigrants was a subject close to his heart ; and in his case as 
a bishop, criticism was disarmed before the fight began. 

But, in the country at large, he saw great danger from 
Cahenslyism. He lost no suitable opportunity of openly de- 
claring his own sentiments. 

One of the characteristically bold acts of his life was the 
delivery of a strong sermon on this subject in Milwaukee, 
when he conferred the pallium on Archbishop Katzer in St. 
John's Cathedral, August 20, 1891. This ceremony was 
marked by the presence of more than 700 prelates and priests. 


coming from almost every State in the Union and embracing 
every nationality represented among the American people. 
The Cardinal began his address by saying, after contemplation 
of the remarkable scene before him, that the Catholic Church 
in America was a family derived from many nations. He 
compared it to the heterogeneous multitude which assembled 
on the day of Pentecost, each person of whom heard in his own 
tongue the works of God proclaimed by the Apostles. He 
pointed out that a large proportion of the American bishops 
were natives of different countries in Europe ; yet he ventured 
to say that in no country in Christendom were the members of 
the hierarchy more united and compact. "Woe to him, my 
brethren," he said, "who would destroy or impair this blessed 
harmony that reigns among us ! Woe to him who would sow 
tares of discord in the fair field of the Church of America! 
Woe to him who would breed dissension among the leaders of 
Israel by introducing a spirit of nationalism into the camps of 
the Lord! Brothers we are, and brothers we shall remain. 
* * * *God and our country!' this be our watchword. 
Next to love of God, should be love of our country, * * * 
Let us glory in the title of American citizen. To one country 
we owe allegiance, and that country is America. We must be 
in harmony with our political institutions. It matters not 
whether this is the land of our birth or our adoption. It is 
the land of our destiny."* 

The training of a native clergy thoroughly in touch with 
the institutions of their country was one of his great objects. 
While the subject was at white heat, he made an address at the 
centennial celebration of St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, in 
October, 1891, in which he used these significant words : 

"We can never, indeed, be sufficiently grateful for the apos- 
tolic labors of the clergy who have come to us from Europe in 
the past century. Without them, tens of thousands would 

• Beily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. II, p. 145 et aeq. 


have died of spiritual starvation. But if the Church is to 
take deep roots in the country and to flourish, it must be sus- 
tained by men racy of the soil, educated at home, breathing 
the spirit of the country, growing with its growth, and in har- 
mony with its civil and political institutions." 

Leo XIII took formal note of the agitation for the selec- 
tion of bishops according to nationality, and on July 4, 1891, 
addressed to Cardinal Gibbons, through Mgr. Rampolla, Pa- 
pal Secretary of State, a letter setting forth the views of the 
Apostolic See on this question. The Pontiff declared that the 
existing laws for the selection of bishops were to be observed 
without modification, and that no toleration could be accorded 
to certain practices which had arisen in opposition to it. He 
announced his determination not to grant the petition of Herr 
Cahensly asking that national bishops be appointed for the 
United States. The cardinal sent copies of the letter to all the 

President Harrison was walking at Cape May a few days 
later with his little grandchild, "Baby McKee," when he met 
the cardinal. He invited the prelate into his cottage, and there 
they talked at length about the Cahensly question. The presi- 
dent showed a rather broad comprehension of questions affect- 
ing the Church in the United States, remarking that it seemed 
to him to have grown sufficiently strong to be regarded no 
longer as a missionary jurisdiction. The attempt to introduce 
the question of nationality in selections for the episcopate 
appeared to him to have great potency for harm, and he ex- 
pressed his unbounded satisfaction that the movement had 
been checked. He said he had sometimes thought of writing 
to the Cardinal on the subject, but hesitated lest he might be 

The Cardinal told the President that he was much pleased to 
hear his views, and suggested that, as he had contemplated 
writing a letter on the subject, it might not be too late even yet 


to express his views in that form. General Harrison replied 
that, while he feared "burning his fingers" by meddling in ec- 
clesiastical questions, he had no objection to the Cardinal stat- 
ing his views in a letter to the authorities in Rome. The Car- 
dinal transmitted to Mgr, Rampolla a full account of the con- 
versation, and received a prompt reply, expressive of the satis- 
faction which these facts created at the Vatican. 

As the agitation continued, Cardinal Ledochowski, Prefect 
of the Propaganda, addressed a letter to the American primate 
in May, 1892, in which he used this language : 

"You are certainly *well aware that on the occasion of vacan- 
cies in episcopal sees in the United States divers commotions 
very often arise among both clergy and people, which the event 
shows are growing more serious and frequent as time goes on. 
The effects which usually result in such cases are neither trivial 
nor hidden, nor are they of such a nature that this Sacred Con- 
gregation can pass them over in silence. For we have now 
and again seen clergy and people active beyond their legitimate 
rights in the nominations of candidates for the episcopal office; 
contentions are diffused and are fomented through the press. 
But what particularly fosters these contentions is the violent 
zeal with which each faction endeavors to secure bishops of its 
own nationality, as if private utility and not the Church's in- 
terest were the end to be looked to in the selection of a suitable 

"Moreover, while the Apostolic See has the interest of the 
Church alone in view in appointing bishops for the Christian 
flock in the world at large, it is more especially influenced by 
this consideration in naming bishops for the United States of 
America, where immigrants from the different nations of 
Europe, by adopting that country as their own, are blended 
together into one people, and form consequently but one nation. 
Since, therefore, the manner of electing bishops in the Church 
of the United States, accurately and wisely defined, is laid 


down in the decrees of its National Councils, and particularly 
in those of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, strenuous 
efforts should be made to do away with all action that is con- 
trary to it. For these decrees, which are above all in harmony 
with the requirements of time and place, and which have been 
enacted by the unanimous voice of the bishops and confirmed 
by the authority of the Apostolic See, are not such as can in 
any wise be set aside in favor of private individuals without 
serious injury to discipline. 

"I consider it my duty to communicate these matters to you, 
so that this evil may be opposed at its birth, before it has grown 
strong with time. It is desirable, therefore, that in every dio- 
cese both clergy and people be warned, in the first place, of the 
deplorable results which come from contests of this kind ; that 
they not only rend asunder the bond of harmony which should 
exist among souls and relax the vigor of ecclesiastical disci- 
pline, but become a stumbling-block and scandal to non- 
Catholics as well. Furthermore, let the bishops, in the name 
of the Sacred Congregation, publicly make it known that what- 
ever is done beyond the prescriptions of the Councils will be of 
no avail, since the Apostolic See esteems nothing of greater 
importance than to uphold the vigor of the ecclesiastical law, 
which is at once the defense of order and the bulwark of 

A correspondent of the Frankfurter Zeitung interviewed the 
Cardinal in Baltimore about this time on the pending ques- 
tion, and to him the American prelate spoke firmly and clearly : 
"People in Germany and elsewhere," he said, "seem not to 
understand that the Americans are striving for development 
into one great nationality ; just as Germany has developed into 
one national union by a struggle of many years' duration, so 
we are striving in the States for a certain homogeneity whose 
outward expression consists in the possession of one common 

* Belly, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. Ill, pp. 1 to 3. 


language, the English. This explains the propaganda for one 
language, the English tongue, in the Catholic Church of North 
America. There is no thought of violating the love of the old 
fatherland — a sacred feeling. The Germans in America are 
handicapped; without the knowledge of English, they are so- 
cially at a disadvantage; only in agricultural centers the Ger- 
man is preserved pure. The Germans are shining examples of 
industry, energy, love of home, conservatism, and attachment 
to their religion. They are beginning to comprehend that it 
is impossible to stem the course of natural evolution. For 
some time I have been in possession of petitions from German 
clergymen desiring the introduction of the English language. 
The transition from German to English will necessarily be 
gradual, and in accordance with the wishes and needs of the 
people concerned. What Germany herself does in this respect 
to solidify her union by a common language, no German will 
think wrong when applied in advancing the homogeneity of 
the people of the United States." 

The controversy was not without its effect in stirring up 
popular prejudice, too ready at all times to thrust itself into 
questions concerning religion. The so-called American Pro- 
tective Association, a weak recrudescence of the Know-Noth- 
ing movement, began to develop more actively about this time, 
and aimed a large part of its thunders at the participation of 
Cardinal Gibbons and other Catholics in the aflfairs of the 
United States. It was pointed out that the Cardinal had been 
present, by invitation of Speaker Crisp, in the United States 
House of Representatives when the final vote on the Wilson 
tariff bill was taken; and the bold declarations of Archbishop 
Ireland on many political questions formed fuel for the flame 
of the incendiaries who promoted this organization. They 
professed to see particular peril in the Pope's action in appoint- 
ing Satolli apostolic delegate. The great wave of immigration 
was pointed out as a menace, and furnished arguments for 
men who worked unseen, by methods made familiar in the 


fifties, to influence elections. While the movement never at- 
tained sufficient influence to stamp itself as more than spo- 
radic, it served to call attention to the danger of departing 
from the straight path in the consideration of questions affect- 
ing American nationality. 

In the national political campaign of 1892 anti-Catholic agi- 
tators were active, and found a theme in Mr. Cleveland's 
friendship for Cardinal Gibbons. William Black, of Chelsea, 
Mass., wrote to Mr. Cleveland regarding the following extract 
from a report of a speech in the British American: 

"When Cleveland became president he had a wire run from the White 
House to the Cardinal's palace, and placed a Roman Catholic at the 
head of every division of the 15,000 employees in the public departments, 
and permitted nuns, without authority and against the printed instruc- 
tions hung up in every public building in Washington, to go twice each 
month through them and command every clerk to contribute to the sup- 
port of the Roman Catholic Church," etc. 

Mr. Cleveland made this characteristic reply : 
"Geay Gables, 
"Buzzard's Bat, Mass, 

"July 11, 1892. 
"Wot. Black, Esq.: 

"Dear Sir — I am almost ashamed to yield to your request to deny a 
statement so silly and absurd on its face as the one you send me. How- 
ever, as this is the second application I have received on the same sub- 
ject, I think it best to end the matter so far as it is possible to do so by 
branding the statement in all its details as unqualifiedly and absolutely 

"I know Cardinal Gibbons and know him to be a good citizen and first- 
rate American, and that his kindness of heart and toleration are in 
striking contrast to the fierce intolerance and vicious malignity which 
disgrace some who claim to be Protestants. I know a number of mem- 
bers of the Catholic Church who were employed in the public service 
during my administration, and I suppose there were many so employed. 

"I should be ashamed of my Presbyterianism if these declarations 
gave ground for ofiEense. 

"Yours very truly, 

"Gboveb Cleveland." 


In January, 1896, the American Catholic League was or- 
ganized as an offset to the "A. P. A." This society wished to 
obtain the Cardinal's endorsement ; but he expressed his views 
clearly, as follows, in a statement issued through Rev. C. F. 
Thomas, of the Cathedral : 

"The Cardinal wishes to be understood as In no way approv- 
ing any secret organization, political or non-political, within 
the Church or without. He believes that it is the duty of all 
to regard, in electing to office, the best men, irrespective of 
their religious convictions; and that no man should be debarred 
from offices of public trust or private confidence because of his 
religious professions."* 

In the campaign of that year the agitation of the American 
Protective Association was particularly aggressive. It fought 
by its peculiar methods the nomination and support of Cath- 
olics by any party. So pronounced was the movement that 
the Cardinal felt impelled to write a letter, in which he further 
stated his own attitude, as follows : 

"It is the duty of the leaders of political parties to express 
themselves without any equivocation on the principles of re- 
ligious freedom which underlie our Constitution. Catholics 
are devoted to both the great political parties of the country, 
and each individual is left entirely to his own conscience. We 
are proud to say that in the United States the great Catholic 
Church has never used or perverted its acknowledged power 
by seeking to make politics subservient to its own advance- 
ment. Moreover, it is our proud boast that we have never 
interfered with the civil or political rights of any who may 
have differed from us in religion. We demand the same rights 
for ourselves and nothing more, and will be content with noth- 
ing less. Not only is it the duty of all parties distinctly to set 
their faces against the false and un-American principles thrust 
forward of late; but, much as I would regret the entire iden- 

• Relly, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. IV, p. B87. 


tification of any religious body, as such, with any particular 
party, I am convinced that the members of any religious body 
whose rights, civil and religious, are attacked, will naturally 
and unanimously espouse the cause of the party which has the 
courage to avow openly the principles of civil and religious 
liberty according to the Constitution. Patience is a virtue, 
but is not the only virtue; when pushed too far, it may degen- 
erate into pusillanimity." 

Another influence which sprang up about this time was an 
organization called the "National League for the Protection of 
American Institutions." It was formed at Saratoga Springs, 
N. Y., in August, 1889, and included in the membership of its 
board of managers a number of men prominent in the affairs 
of New York city and State. Its first president was John Jay, 
who was succeeded by William H. Parsons.* The principal 
object which it sought was a sixteenth amendment to the Con- 
stitution of the United States, prohibiting the use of money 
raised by taxation in aid of any church or religious society, or 
any institution under "sectarian or ecclesiastical control." 
While this part of its plan never progressed further than the 
stage of agitation, the influence of the league was strongly ex- 
ercised in bringing about abolition of Government appropria- 
tions for Catholic Indian schools, and in inserting clauses in a 
number of State constitutions in conformity with its principles. 

Cardinal Gibbons made a significant address at the installa- 
tion in January, 1897, of Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Conaty as rector 
of the Catholic University in place of Bishop Keane, who had 
resigned. The Cardinal laid down as the watchword of the 
university, "Revelation and Science, Religion and Patriotism, 
God and Our Country." He declared that if he had the privi- 
lege of modifying the Constitution of the United States, he 
would not expunge or alter a single word of that instrument. 

• King, Facing th« Twentieth Century, p. 520 et aeq. 


The Constitution was admirably adapted to the growth and ex- 
pansion of the Cathohc religion, and the Catholic religion was 
admirably adapted to the genius of the Constitution. He con- 
trasted the conditions at the university, with which the Govern- 
tnent never thought of interfering, and where the only obstacle 
to further development was lack of money, with a situation he 
had found in the course of one of his European trips. In 
company with Archbishop Spalding, he had visited a bishop 
of Europe, whose tolerant policies and eloquent sermons he 
greatly admired. Congratulating the bishop on his favored 
condition, he was surprised to receive the reply : "Monsignor, 
'all is not gold that glitters;' I can not build so much as a 
sacristy without first obtaining permission of the govern- 

In his inaugural address, Dr. Conaty emphasized that the 
university was Catholic, and knew no nationality but that 
which intelligent faith enjoined. He declared that the univer- 
sity was for the Church in America and was American in the 
fullest sense, having as the circle of its beneficiaries the Ameri- 
can Catholic people. 

A question which began to be much debated was that of the 
religious orders. In some quarters it was held that they 
were not in accordance with the spirit of modern life; that 
men of God were needed to go out into the world and spread 
their influence rather than to retire within the walls of relig- 
ious institutions, where their discipline might benefit only 
themselves. While the Cardinal consistently exemplified the 
idea of an aggressive Christianity carried into every-day life, 
he warmly defended the piety and usefulness of the life of 
religious retirement, both for its example and for the benefits 
it conferred in special cases. 

The whole question regarding Americanism came finally 
to center around the "Life of Father Hecker," a biography by 

• Catholic Mirror, Jan. 23, 189T. 


Rev. Walter Elliott, of the Paulist Order, of his famous 
leader. Hecker, as we have seen, had been instrumental in 
turning the thoughts of Cardinal Gibbons, when a youth in 
New Orleans, to the mission of the priesthood. He died in 
1888, having firmly established his order as the leading Ameri- 
can association for the conversion of Protestants, and for the 
evangelization of the people already in the fold of the Church. 
Its preachers traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific, stirring 
up the flames of religious ardor upon the dying embers of in- 
difTerentism and the thousand and one influences constantly 
at work to undermine the spirituality of the Church. 

Father Hecker took the ground that since the Vatican 
Council had formally defined the doctrine of papal infalli- 
bility, and had fixed the constitution of the Church in final 
form, the time had come for a wide development of indi- 
vidual action within the limits laid down. He always in- 
sisted upon "absolute and unswerving loyalty to the author- 
ity of the Church, wherever and however expressed, as God's 
authority upon earth and for all time;" but he believed, at 
the same time, that men, as the children of God, must re- 
ceive the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.* He held that 
the Holy Spirit acts directly upon the inner life of man, and, 
in that light, is his superior and director. That its guidance 
may become more and more immediate in the interior life, and 
the soul's obedience more and more instinctive, was the object, 
in his opinion, of the whole external order of the Church, in- 
cluding the sacramental system. He taught that the sum of 
spiritual life consisted in observing and yielding to the move- 
ments of the spirit of God in the soul. He saw no conflict 
between the external authority of the Church as a guide of the 
soul, and the direct action of the Holy Spirit without human 

•Sedgwick, Life of Father Hecker, p. 97 et seq. 


"The action of the Holy Spirit," he wrote, "embodied vis- 
ibly in the authority of the Church, and the action of the Holy 
Spirit dealing invisibly in the soul, form one inseparable syn- 
thesis; and he who has not a clear conception of this twofold 
action of the Holy Spirit is in danger of running into one or 
the other, and some times into both of these extremes, either 
of which is destructive of the end of the Church. The Holy 
Spirit in the external authority of the Church acts as the infal- 
lible interpreter and criterion of Divine revelation. The Holy 
Spirit in the soul acts as the Divine life-giver and sanctifier." 

Hecker also taught that the individuality of each nation 
should be used as the instrument by which its people might be 
brought to God. He held that it was not without the will of 
God that this individuality had been developed ; why, then, not 
take advantage of it? In America, the people had worked out 
a political system which had brought them liberty and power, 
making the country a refuge for the oppressed and the unfor- 
tunate. This, he felt, had been due to the blessing of God, 
working in secular affairs through the freedom and inde- 
pendent character of Americans. These qualities could be 
utilized in a special manner by the Church to bring the people 
within her fold. He desired the cultivation of the natural 
and active virtues as being more in accordance with the age 
than the passive ones. 

After Father Hecker's death, his biography, by Father El- 
liott, was issued with the imprimatur of Archbishop Corrigan, 
and with a eulogistic introduction by Archbishop Ireland. It at- 
tracted marked attention in Europe as well as in America. In 
1897 an anonymous translation of it into French was made, 
which was compressed and not exact, and therefore, perhaps, 
did not convey with complete accuracy the spirit of the English 
version. The preface of the translation was written by Abbe 
Klein, a professor in the Catholic Institute of Paris, who ex- 
pressed his ardent admiration for Father Hecker. In the same 


year Mgr. D. J. O'Connell, in an address before a Catholic 
scientific congress at Fribourg, outlined what were beginning to 
be known as American ideas in the Church, and expressed his 
earnest approval of them. On the other hand, the conserva- 
tive party among French Catholics raised a chorus of objec- 

Abbe Maignen, of the Congregation of St. Vincent de Paul, 
wrote a book entitled "Le Pere Hecker, Est-il Un Saint?" and 
afterward an English version of it, with some changes, en- 
titled, "Father Hecker: Is He a Saint?" Cardinal Richard, 
Archbishop of Paris, to whom jurisdiction properly belonged, 
refused his imprimatur for this work. Abbe Maignen then 
applied to Father Lepidi, a Dominican monk, master of the 
Sacred Palace in Rome, who gave the imprimatur of the Vati- 
can, and thus brought the subject directly to the attention of 
Rome. The book was a commentary upon Father Elliott's 
"Life of Hecker," and a vigorous reply to some of Hecker's 
ideas, as interpreted by Maignen, with which he could not 

The discussion was soon agitating Europe to an extraordi- 
nary degree. Among Americans it attracted less attention. 
If Abbe Maignen correctly stated the subject, they admitted 
that there would be room for doubt as to whether it was desir- 
able to accept Hecker's views ; but they held that it was a false 
Hecker who was being debated, and not the real missionary, 
whose saintly life and ardent labors had won so many souls to 
the Church. 

Only the Pope could speak with final authority. Leo set 
himself to the task, and on January 22, 1899, addressed to 
Cardinal Gibbons a long letter, which had the effect of closing 
the discussion.* He began by stating that the publication of 
the life of Father Hecker, "especially as interpreted and trans- 
lated into a foreign language," had excited not a little contro- 

• Cathedral Archives. 


versy, because it had voiced certain opinions concerning the 
way of leading a Christian Hfe. 

"The underlying principle of these new opinions," he con- 
tinued, "is that, in order more easily to attract those who differ 
from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in ac- 
cord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient 
severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many 
think that these concessions should be made not only in regard 
to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong 
to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be 
opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit 
certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, 
and so to tone down the meaning which the Church has always 
attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, 
to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of 
the doctrines which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. 
* * * 

"Let it be far from any one's mind to suppress for any rea- 
son any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy 
would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than 
to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our 
heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of 
Christ return to her, but in no other way than the way pointed 
out by Christ. 

"The rule of life laid down for Catholics is not of such a 
nature that it can not accommodate itself to the exigencies of 
various times and places. The Church has, guided by her 
Divine Master, a kind and merciful spirit, for which reason 
from the very beginning she has been what St. Paul said of 
himself : 'I became all things to all men that I might save all.' " 

"History proves clearly that the Apostolic See, to which has 
been entrusted the mission not only of teaching, but of gov- 
erning the whole Church, has continued 'in one and the same 


doctrine, one and the same sense, and one and the same judg- 

"But in regard to ways of Hving, she has been accustomed 
so to moderate her discipHne that, the Divine principle of 
morals being kept intact, she has never neglected to accommo- 
date herself to the character and genius of the nations which 
she embraces. 

"Who can doubt that she will act in the same spirit again if 
the salvation of souls requires it? In this matter the Church 
must be the judge, not private men, who are often deceived by 
the appearance of right. In this, all who wish to escape the 
blame of our predecessor, Pius the Sixth, must concur. He 
condemned as injurious to the Church and the Spirit of God 
who guides her, the doctrine contained in proposition Ixxviii of 
the Synod of Pistoia, 'that the discipline made and approved 
by the Church should be submitted to examination,' as if the 
Church could frame a code of laws useless or heavier than 
human liberty can bear. 

"It is alleged that now the Vatican decree concerning the 
infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff having been 
proclaimed, nothing further on that score can give any solici- 
tude, and accordingly, since that has been safeguarded and put 
beyond question, a wider and freer field both for thought and 
action lies open to each one. But such reasoning is evidently 
faulty, since if we are to come to any conclusion from the 
infallible teaching authority of the Church, it should rather be 
that no one should wish to depart from it, and, moreover, that 
the minds of all being leavened and directed thereby, greater 
security from private error would be enjoyed by all. And 
further, those who avail themselves of such a way of reason- 
ing seem to depart seriously from the overruling wisdom of 
the Most High — which wisdom, since it was pleased to set 
forth by most solemn decision the authority and supreme 
teaching rights of this Apostolic See, willed that decision pre- 


cisely in order to safeguard the minds of the Church's chil- 
dren from the dangers of these present times. 

"These dangers, viz., the confounding of license with liberty, 
the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any 
possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions 
one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to 
the world, have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now 
a greater need of the Church's teaching office than ever before, 
lest people become unmindful both of conscience and of duty. 

"We, indeed, have no thought of rejecting everything that 
modern industry and study have produced; so far from it, 
that we welcome to the patrimony of truth and to an ever- 
widening scope of public well-being whatsoever helps toward 
the progress of learning and virtue. Yet all this, to be of any 
solid benefit, nay, to have a real existence and growth, can 
only be on the condition of recognizing the wisdom and au- 
thority of the Church. * * * 

"Nor can we leave out of consideration the truth that those 
who are striving after perfection, since by that fact they walk 
in no beaten or well-known path, are the most liable to stray, 
and hence have greater need than others of a teacher and 
guide. Such guidance has ever obtained in the Church ; it has 
been the universal teaching of those who throughout the ages 
have been eminent for wisdom and sanctity — and hence to re- 
ject it would be to commit one's self to a belief at once rash 
and dangerous. * * * 

"This overesteem of natural virtue finds a method of expres- 
sion in assuming to divide all virtues into active and passive, 
and it is alleged that whereas passive virtues found better place 
in past times, our age is to be characterized by the active. 
That such a division and distinction can not be maintained is 
patent — for there is not, nor can there be, merely passive vir- 
tue. 'Virtue,' says St. Thomas Aquinas, 'designates the per- 
fection of some faculty, but the end of such faculty is an act, 


and an act of virtue is naught else than the good use of free 
will,' acting, that is to say, under the grace of God if the act 
be one of supernatural virtue. * * * 

"From the foregoing it is manifest, beloved son, that we 
are not able to give approval to those views which, in their 
collective sense, are called by some 'Americanism.' But if by 
this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind 
which belong to the American people, just as other characteris- 
tics belong to various other nations; and if, moreover, by it are 
designated your political conditions and the laws and customs 
by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception 
to the name. But if this is to be so understood that the doc- 
trines which have been adverted to above are not only indi- 
cated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our 
venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first 
to repudiate and condemn them as being most injurious to 
themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the 
suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and 
would have the Church in America different from what she is 
in the rest of the world. 

"But the true Church is one, as by unity of doctrine, so by 
unity of government, and she is Catholic also. Since God has 
placed the center and foundation of unity in the chair of 
Blessed Peter, she is rightly called the Roman Church, for 
'where Peter is, there is the Church.' Wherefore, if anybody 
wishes to be considered a real Catholic, he ought to be able to 
say from his heart the self-same words which Jerome ad- 
dressed to Pope Damasus: *I, acknowledging no other leader 
than Christ, am bound in fellowship with your Holiness ; that 
is, with the Chair of Peter. I know that the Church was 
built upon him as its rock, and that whosoever gathereth not 
with you, scattereth.' " 

There seems to have been no doubt that the Pontiff saw in 
the aspect which Heckerism took before the eyes of Europe a 
real danger to Catholic truth, whose correction he deemed nee- 


essary. His letter, therefore, was a warning against current 
evils, rather than against the teachings of Hecker. He ex- 
pressly assented to the primary proposal of Hecker when he 
declared that the "rule of life laid down for Catholics is not of 
such a nature that it can not accommodate itself to the exigen- 
cies of various times and places." He also declared that 
the Church had never neglected to accommodate herself to the 
character and genius of the nations. This, in the view' of 
Americans, embraced all of real importance that Hecker had 
maintained. None would have subscribed more readily than 
the founder of the Paulists to the words of Jerome, laid down 
as a test at the end of the Pope's letter. 

As the letter was sifted and its real meaning became clear, 
it began to be accepted that, while Leo XHI had directed his 
pious admonitions at real evils, they were not such as were 
characteristic of America; that they were merely abnormal 
views nurtured abroad, and, in correcting them, the Pontiff 
had performed a necessary service. Cardinal Gibbons wrote 
to the Pontiff, thanking him for dispelling the cloud of misun- 
derstanding and assuring him that the false conceptions of 
Americanism emanating from Europe "have no existence 
among the prelates, priests and Catholic laity of our country." 

The Paulist Fathers, who had idolized their leader, sent a 
letter fully embracing the doctrines of Leo, from which they 
had never thought of departing. 

Archbishop Ireland wrote : "Scarcely have I finished read- 
ing the letter which your Holiness has addressed to his Emi- 
nence, Cardinal Gibbons, and to the other members of the 
American episcopate, when I hasten to thank you for this act 
of esteem and of love for the Catholics of the United States, 
as for our whole American nation. Today light has come; 
misunderstandings cease. Today we are in a condition to de- 
fine the fault which some have wished to cover with the name 
of Americanism, and define the truth, which alone Americans 
call Americanism. * * * Seeing the astonishing confu- 


sion of ideas and the virulent controversies stirred up, espe- 
cially in France, about the book, 'The Life of Father Hecker,' 
the extent of which can be measured by the apostolic letter, 
I can no longer be blind to the fact that it was a necessity for 
the chief pastor to raise his voice to enlighten and pacify men's 

The Archbishop went on to say that the things condemned 
were those which, as the papal letter said, "are called by some 
Americanism." Champion of Father Hecker himself, he em- 
phasized the fact that he had never for a single instant opened 
his soul to such extravagances. 

The effect of the Pope's letter was to calm the waves ; Ameri- 
canism stood as it did before. The expression of the policy 
of Leo himself was accepted as an enlightened and liberal view 
of modern conditions, based upon thorough obedience to the 
discipline and doctrine of the Church. 

In America, the serene course of the Church's progress was 
unchecked. She continued in her high position in the favor 
of the people. Her numbers multiplied with rapidity; new 
dioceses sprang up; churches, chapels and schools were built 
without number. "Onward!" was the countersign of the 
hierarchy, priesthood and laity. 

Cahenslyism was, perhaps, the most serious danger which 
has ever threatened the progress of the Catholic Church in this 
country. The most powerful force in checking it was un- 
doubtedly Cardinal Gibbons, with the active assistance of his 
warm friends and able coworkers, such as Archbishop Ireland, 
Bishop Keane and Mgr. O'Connell. If the United States is a 
unit, unbroken by divergences and jealousies of race and lan- 
guage, the country owes a debt to him more than to any other 
single force for arresting the progress of a propaganda perhaps 
more ominous to the future of the nation than was the anti- 
slavery agitation in its beginnings. A Gibbons with the will, 
the power, the fertility of resource, the clear vision of the 
future, the tact and firmness, the rare traits of statesmanship 


which he showed in extinguishing the flame of Cahenslyism, 
might have nulhfied the violent forces unloosed by Garrison 
and Phillips, and brought about a solution of the slavery prob- 
lem with the same substantial results, but without the interpo- 
sition of a tremendous and fratricidal war. 

The World's Fair: Parliament of Religions. 

The project of the World's Fair at Chicago, in 1893, com- 
memorating the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery 
of America by Columbus, appealed strongly to Cardinal Gib- 
bons. Not only did he see in it another opportunity to make 
America better understood by foreigners; but he could not 
forget that Isabella the Catholic was the patron of the discov- 
erer, who had matured his great project in the sympathetic 
atmosphere of the Convent of La Rabida. While economic 
causes had given birth to the movement which led to the dis- 
covery of the hitherto unknown continents, zeal for the propa- 
gation of the Christian religion undoubtedly played a great 
part in its immediate inspiration; nor could it be forgotten 
that had Columbus sailed due westward, as he desired, in- 
stead of yielding to the advice of Pinzon and following the 
flight of birds, he would have touched the mainland of Florida 
on his first voyage, and all North America might have been 
Catholic instead of predominantly Protestant.* 

Not only Cardinal Gibbons, but the Catholic Church as a 
whole, took the deepest interest in the ambitious plans for the 
commemoration. We have seen how the request for the 
Columbian relics at the Vatican by the United States had led 
to the designation of Archbishop Satolli as their custodian, 
and also as papal delegate to the Church in America. Leo 
XIII was so much moved by the event that in July, 1892, he 
issued a letter to the archbishops and bishops of Spain, Italy 
and the two Americas upon Columbus, in which he took the 

• Justin Winsor, Christopher Columbus, p. 206. 



view that the voyages of the discoverer were prompted by zeal 
for the extension of the CathoHc faith. He declared that 
Columbus was superlatively inspired by this motive, and, there- 
fore, his undertaking was on a far higher plane than that of 
those who before him had explored the unknown seas. 

"This does not say," wrote the Pontiff, "that he was not in 
any way influenced by the very praiseworthy desire to be mas- 
ter of science, to deserve the approval of society, or that he 
despised the glory whose stimulant is ordinarily sensitive 
to elevated minds, or that he was not at all looking to his per- 
sonal interests. But, above all these human reasons, that of 
religion was uppermost, by a great deal, in him, and it was this, 
without any doubt, which sustained his spirit and his will, and 
which frequently in the midst of extreme difficulties filled him 
with consolation."* 

He argued that Columbus discovered America at a time 
when a great tempest was about to be unchained against the 
Church, and that it seemed he was designed by a special plan of 
God to compensate Catholicism for the injury it was destined 
to suffer in Europe. The Pontiff ordered that on October 12, 
or the following Sunday, the mass of the Holy Trinity should 
be celebrated in the cathedrals. 

Cardinal Gibbons promptly followed this with a pastoral let- 
ter to the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 
He repeated his favorite thesis, that America was the con- 
genial home of liberty, "and the truest democracy allied with a 
stable government." He held that peace and happiness, as far, 
perhaps, as they are attainable on earth, result from these 
favored conditions. 

"Climate, soil, vegetation and mineral products, found al- 
most in endless variety and confusion," he continued, "conspire 
to make our country the most desirable in the world. Nor can 
we forget to note that, with a love for our religion as strong 

* Catholic Mirror^ August G, 1897. 


and as true as that for our country, the magnificent expansion 
God has given to the Church, and how sturdily and fruitfully 
this flower of Christian faith has grown, untrammeled, under 
the benign influence of our republican institutions."* 

A month before this, Cardinal Gibbons had called a meet- 
ing in Baltimore to arrange a local celebration. This rapidly 
took shape. On October 12, the Italians of the city unveiled 
a monument to Columbus, at which the Cardinal made an ad- 
dress. He declared that Americans were, above all, indebted 
to two men — Columbus and Washington — and accepted the 
Pope's view in declaring that the great mariner had been in- 
spired by the lofty ambition of carrying the light of the Gospel 
to people buried in the darkness of idolatry. The following 
Sunday, splendid services were held in the Cathedral, at which 
the Cardinal pontificated. Archbishops Satolli and Ireland 
lent their presence to the occasion. Catholic laity and pupils 
of the parochial schools to the number of 30,000 took part in a 
procession through the streets on the 21st, when the celebration 
was general throughout the United States, in accordance with 
the proclamation of the President designating as a national 
holiday that day — the real anniversary, in accordance with the 
correction of the Julian Calendar by Gregory XIII. 

Cardinal Gibbons was invited to offer a prayer at the dedica- 
tion exercises of the fair on the 21st. This prayer was, as 
usual on such occasions, inspired by lofty patriotism as well as 
by deep piety. 

"Not only for this earthly inheritance do we thank Thee," 
he said, "but still more for the precious boon of constitu- 
tional freedom which we possess; for even this favored land 
of ours would be to us a dry and barren waste, if it were 
not moistened by the dew of liberty. We humbly implore 
Thee to continue to bless our country and her cherished insti- 
tutions ; and we solemnly promise today, in this vast assembly 

• CatJiolic Mirror, Sept. 8, 1S92. 


and in the name of our fellow-citizens, to exert all our ener- 
gies in preserving this legacy unimpaired and in transmitting 
it as a priceless heirloom to succeeding generations. * * * 
Grant, O Lord, that this pacific reunion of the world's repre- 
sentatives may be instrumental in binding together in closer 
ties of friendship and brotherly love all the empires and com- 
monwealths of the globe. May it help to break down the 
wall of dissension and jealousy that divides race from race, 
nation from nation, and people from people, by proclaiming 
the sublime lesson of the fatherhood of God and the brother- 
hood of Christ. * * * Arise, O God, in Thy might and 
hasten the day when the reign of the Prince of Peace will be 
firmly established on the earth, when the spirit of the Gospel 
will so far sway the minds and hearts of rulers that the crash 
of war will be silenced forever by the cheerful hum of indus- 
try, when standing armies will surrender to permanent courts 
of arbitration, when contests will be carried on in the cabinet 
instead of on the battlefield, and decided by the pen instead of 
the sword."* 

In the discussion which arose concerning the question of 
opening the fair on Sundays, Cardinal Gibbons took a pro- 
nounced stand. In a letter in November, 1892, he wrote that 
"the Sunday closing of this spectacle would be very unfortu- 
nate for thousands of our countrymen, who would be tempted 
to spend the day in dissipation. In their name, I would favor 
the opening of the fair Sunday afternoon to evening, with the 
provision that all the machinery should be stopped and all 
mechanical and laboring work that will not be urgently neces- 
sary cease." 

Catholics generally w^ere in favor of opening the fair during 
a part of Sunday, and this was the course at length adopted. 
The Cardinal took the view that the Lord's Day was not only 
a time for rest and religious observance, but also for innocent 
recreation. He held that Catholics having performed the re- 

• Reily, Collections in the Life of Cardinal Gibbons, Vol. II, p. 854 et seq. 


ligious duties required of them in the morning were free to 
spend the day in such relaxation as was becoming to Sunday. 
In particular, he was anxious that the fair should be open on 
that day, in order that the workingmen might have a good 
opportunity to see it. He was by no means in sympathy with 
the spirit of the old Puritan Sabbath, and he regarded the ob- 
servance of the day in America, outside of a few large cities, 
as being eminently satisfactory. 

Another example of his tolerance was indicated by the pro- 
nounced stand which he took regarding participation in the 
Parliament of Religions, one of the characteristic features of 
the fair. This project was considered at the meeting of the 
archbishops in New York, in the autumn of 1892. Some ob- 
jections were made, but in the end the prelates decided to ac- 
cept the invitation to take part. The Cardinal was heartily 
in favor of this. He recalled that St. Paul had preached be- 
fore the Areopagus; and in the Parliament of Religions he 
hoped to reach a peculiar audience with which it would be diffi- 
cult to get in touch again. The Church was too often pre- 
sented to the world in apparel that made her repulsive to the 
people. His hope was to discard these garments and, as he 
remarked, "Let all see the Church in her true beauty — a 
beauty sure to endear her to all lovers of the truth. The more 
the Church is known, the better she is liked." He could not 
see that the part which Catholics would take in the parliament 
would involve any recognition or approval of the multitudi- 
nous sects represented. 

The Anglicans, under the inspiration of Archbishop Benson, 
declined; but Cardinal Gibbons accepted the personal invita- 
tion which was sent to him. He wrote : 

"I deem the movement you are engaged in promoting worthy 
of all encouragement and praise. * * * j rejoice to learn 
that the project for a religious congress has already won the 
sympathies and enlisted the active co-operation of those in the 
front rank of human thought and progress, even in other 


lands than ours. If conducted with moderation and good- 
will, such a congress may result, by the blessing of Divine 
Providence, in benefits more far-reaching than the most san- 
guine could dare to hope for." 

The name of the Cardinal was among the first on the list of 
speakers, closely followed by that of Ameer Ali, a Mussulman 
of Calcutta. Archbishop Feehan was on a committee of which 
a Presbyterian minister was chairman. In the speeches wel- 
coming the Parliament to Chicago, in September, Archbishop 
Feehan spoke in behalf of the Catholic Church. Cardinal 
Gibbons had suffered an attack of illness, but insisted on being 

*Tf I were to consult the interest of my health," he said, "I 
should be in bed; but as I was anxious to say a word in re- 
sponse to the kind speeches that have been offered, I can not 
fail to present myself, at least, to show my interest in the great 
undertaking. I would be wanting in my duty as a minister 
of the Catholic Church if I did not say it is our desire to 
present the claims of the Church to the observation, and, if 
possible, to the acceptance of every right-minded man who will 
listen to us; but we appeal only to the tribunal of conscience 
and of intellect. I feel that in possessing the faith, I possess 
treasures compared with which all the treasures of this world 
are but dross ; instead of having these treasures in my coffers, 
I would like to share them with others; especially, as I am 
none the poorer in making others richer. But, though we do 
not agree in matters of faith, there is one platform on which 
we all stand united; it is the platform of charity, of humanity, 
of benevolence. * * * We know that the Good Samaritan 
rendered assistance to his strange brother, who was of a dif- 
ferent name, a different religion, a strange nationality, and 
with a wide difference in social life. That is the model we all 
should follow. * * * Let no man say, *Am I my broth- 
er's keeper?' That was the language of Cain. I say to yoti 


here today, no matter what may be your faith, that you are 
and ought to be your brother's keeper." 

On the fourth day of the parHament, an address by the Car- 
dinal on the "Needs of Humanity SuppHed by the CathoHc 
Church," was read by Bishop Keane, the Cardinal being pre- 
vented by illness from being present. He began by a general 
defense of Christianity, addressed to Mohammedans, Brahmins 
and other sects assembled from the corners of the earth. If he 
were not drawn to the Church, he said, by her unity of faith, 
which binds together in a common worship 250,000,000 souls, 
by her sublime moral code, by her world-wide Catholicity, and 
"by that unbroken chain of succession which connects her in- 
dissolubly with apostolic times," he would be drawn still more 
forcibly by her wonderful system of organized benevolence 
for the elevation and comfort of suffering humanity. He pro- 
ceeded to state some points in this system. He showed that 
the Church had purified society at its fountain head, the mar- 
riage bond; that she had proclaimed the sanctity of human life 
as soon as the body is animated by the vital spark ; that she had 
established asylums for infants, orphans, the aged, the sick; 
that she had labored not only to assuage the physical distem- 
pers of humanity, but also to reclaim the victims of moral 
disease; that she had been the unvarying friend and advocate 
of the slave; that she had ennobled manual labor. 

But he did not hold that activity in these fields was re- 
stricted to Catholics. "I will not deny," he said, "on the con- 
trary, I am happy to avow, that the various Christian bodies 
outside the Catholic Church have been and are today zealous 
promoters of most of these works of Christian benevolence 
which I have enumerated. * * * But will not our sepa- 
rated brethren have the candor to acknowledge that we had 
first possession of the field; that these beneficent movements 
have been inaugurated bv ns ; and that the other Christian com- 
munities in their noble efforts for the moral and social regen- 
eration of mankind have been stimulated in no small measure 


by the example and emulation of the ancient Church?" He 
concluded with the doctrine that there is no way by which men 
approach nearer to God than by contributing to the welfare of 
their fellow-men. 

Another phase of the fair was the Columbian Catholic Con- 
gress, a continuation of the gathering of laymen instituted in 
Baltimore at the time of the centennial of the hierarchy. The 
Cardinal made the opening address before it, in which he ad- 
vised moderation in the discussions, and presented a letter from 
the Pope, bestowing his blessing upon the laity there assembled. 

As the foremost Marylander, he was naturally invited to 
take part in the observance of Maryland Day at the fair. He 
offered the opening prayer, and pronounced the benediction, 
giving thanks for the blessing of religious liberty which the 
fathers had brought to St. Mary's, and which had since spread 
over all the United States. 

After the close of the fair, the Columbian relics were re- 
turned to Rome on the United States cruiser Detroit. In re- 
ceiving them, Leo expressed his lively satisfaction that he had 
been able to contribute to the success of the great American 
celebration. He also announced that he was preparing to issue 
an encyclical to the American bishops, conveying the senti- 
ments of his especial affection for their country. This letter, 
issued in January, 1895, pointed out what the ministry of the 
Church had done in opening the American Continent to civili- 
zation, and the warm friendship between Washington, the 
first President, and Carroll, the first bishop. The Pontiff 
found the greatest satisfaction in the lofty spirit of the Church 
in the last portion of the century about to close. While this 
was in part due to the wisdom and zealous labors of bishops 
and priests, he was moved to write : 

"But, moreover (a fact which it gives us pleasure to acknowl- 
edge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in 
America, and to the customs of the well-ordered republic ; for 
the Church among you, unopposed by the Constitution and 


Government of 3'our nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, 
protected against violence by the common laws and the impar- 
tiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hin- 
drance." He could not so far depart from the ancient policy 
of the Vatican as to assent that this condition was the most 
desirable one for the Church; but held that she would bring 
forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she en- 
joyed the "favor of the laws and the patronage of public au- 

Rehearsing the reasons for the establishment of the apostolic 
legation, the Pope pointed out that it was intended to bring 
the Church in America in more direct touch with the pontifi- 
cate ; but that it was by no means desired to weaken the author- 
ity of the bishops. The great aim, he said, was the extension 
of the Catholic faith in America. "All intelligent men are 
agreed," he continued, "and we ourselves have intimated it 
with pleasure, that America seems destined for greater things. 
Now, it is our wish that the Catholic Church should not only 
share in, but help to bring about, this prospective greatness. 
We deem it right and proper that she should, by availing her- 
self of the opportunities daily presented to her, keep equal step 
with the republic in the march of improvement, at the same 
time striving to the utmost by her virtue and her institutions to 
aid in the rapid growth of the States."* 

Following the Parliament of Religions, the subject of Chris- 
tian unity was much discussed. It enlisted the earnest atten- 
tion of men of many different faiths. New impetus was given 
the movement for reuniting the branches of American Prot- 
estantism, which has been separated by differences of opinion 
growing out of the slavery question and the Civil War. Sub- 
stantial hope beean to be entertained that the numerous 
branches of Methodism would find a common ground for or- 
ganic union. The same impulse spread to Presbyterianism. 
It became a common theme for pulpit discussion. 

• OathoUc Mirror, Feb. 2, 1895. 


A Methodist pastor at Taunton, Mass., addressed several let- 
ters to the Cardinal on this subject, to which he replied.* He 
agreed that aspirations for the reunion of Christendom were 
worthy of all praise; but proceeded to show that such reunion 
would be only fragmentary if the Catholic Church were ex- 
cluded. No reunion would be possible without a solid Scrip- 
tural basis, and he held that this was to be found only in the 
recognition of the successor of Peter as the visible head of the 
Church. If the churches of the world look for a head, where 
would one be found with the standard of authority except the 
Bishop of Rome? The terms of union, he said, were easier of 
solution than was commonly imagined. The Catholic Church, 
in his view, held to all the positive doctrines of all the Prot- 
estant churches, and the acknowledgment of the Pope's sur 
premacy would make the way easy for accepting her other 
doctrines. He pointed out that many doctrines are ascribed 
to the Church which she repudiates, and that Protestants were 
nearer to her than some of them imagined. 

He preached at the Cathedral on the reunion of Christen- 
dom, November 4, 1894. He began by recognizing the yearn- 
ing desire for such a reunion, particularly in the English- 
speaking world; and declared that gladly would he give his 
life to bring about this devout consummation; but he saw 
no hope for reunion except within the fold of the Catholic 
Church. "On faith and morals," he said, "there can be no 
compromise; what Christ has left us must remain unchange- 
able. We can not improve on the work of Christ; but the 
Church can modify her discipline to suit the circumstances of 
the times. I would affectionately say to all who desire to 
share in the inestimable blessings of this reunion, that you sur- 
render nothing worth possessing — not your libertv or inde- 
pendence, or moral freedom. The only restraint placed upon 
you is the restraint of the Gospel. In coming back to the 
Church, you are not entering a strange place, but are returning 

• Letter of Cardinal Gibbons to Bev. Geo. W. King, July 28, 1894. 


to your Father's house. The furniture may seem odd to you, 
but it is just the same as your fathers left three hundred and 
fifty years ago."* 

Pope Leo summoned him to Rome in the autumn of 1894, 
for his first visit to the Eternal City since 1887, when he had 
received the red hat. In the following May, shortly after 
attending the golden jubilee of his warm friend. Archbishop 
Williams, he sailed from New York, arriving in Rome May 
31. Conferences with the Pope ensued. Though Leo was 
then eighty-five years old, the Cardinal found his memory 
surprisingly fresh, recalling even the small details of questions 
which had arisen in the United States, and especially the Dio- 
cese of Baltimore. The Pope, as on previous occasions, re- 
ceived him with particular cordiality, and he spent more than 
a month in Rome. 

When he w^ent to pay his parting visit to Leo, the Pontiff 
commanded him to defer his departure, so that he might call 
at the Vatican again. The Cardinal attended a meeting of the 
Propaganda, the new prefect of which, Cardinal Ledochowski, 
showed him marked attention. In the course of his inter- 
views, he presented to the Pontiff a program for the philo- 
sophical department which it was hoped soon to inaugurate at 
the university at Washington. He also asked a pontifical brief 
in behalf of a eucharistic congress similar to those previously 
held in Europe, which it was proposed to convoke in America. 
June 29, the PontifT addressed a brief to him, bestowing his 
hearty approval upon the plans for the university, and he en- 
tered earnestly into the project of the congress. The Cardinal 
in his interviews with the Pope warmly praised the work of 
Satolli, whose faithful friend and defender he had been. 

He returned to Baltimore in August, and found a great 
crowd at the railroad station, which, as usual, welcomed him 
with enthusiasm and escorted him to his residence. A recep- 
tion was given in his honor by the Catholic Club, at which 

• Catholic Mirror. Nov. 10. 1894. 


tributes were paid to him for the continuance of his efforts to 
break down the impression that the Church was in any way 
ahen to American institutions. Edgar H. Cans, a distinguished 
lawyer, delivered the address of welcome, saying : 

"Not many years ago the view was prevalent that the Cath- 
olic Church was a foreign growth, was not adapted to modern 
American life and, indeed, that its teachings and tendencies 
were hostile to our free institutions. This prejudice became 
powerful and widespread. It would not yield to the ordinary 
weapons of logic and reason. There was needed a living illus- 
tration of its absurdity. That illustration was found in your 
Eminence. In you the American people see the highest spir- 
itual authority absolutely consistent with the civic allegiance of 
the patriotic citizen." 

With that simple neighborly feeling which characterized the 
Cardinal, he bespoke his delight in returning to his home city, 
which he preferred to any other he had seen. 

"Would that I could deserve one-half the praise showered 
upon me," he remarked, simply; "I often ask the good Lord 
what I have done that I should receive so much praise?"* 

In September, he preached at the Cathedral on his visit to 
Rome. He pictured the Pope as an emaciated old man, with 
the pallor almost of death upon him, intensified by his white 
cassock and zuchetta. His body was bent; but his eye was 
bright and penetrating; his voice strong; his intellect amaz- 
ingly clear. One thing which particularly astonished the Car- 
dinal was Leo's power of physical endurance, which enabled 
him to hold audiences for several consecutive hours with 
cardinals and foreign representatives, as well as with private 
individuals, changing with ease and elasticity of mind from one 
subject to another. 

Passing to impressions of his trip, the Cardinal spoke of the 
sadness with which he observed the civil authorities of France 

• Catholic Mirror, Aug. 31, 1895. 


and some other Catholic nations of Europe drifting away from 
reHgious ties. He compared the burdensome taxation of Eu- 
rope with conditions in America; but he found one thing 
abroad which might well be copied at home. The people of 
the agricultural districts were not yet infected with the fever 
to flock to the cities; all seemed happy and contented in their 
rural surroundings. While he would by no means discourage 
ambition, he regarded discontent with an honorable though 
humble situation in life as a serious fault of his fellow- 

Following the Cardinal's return, the eucharistic congress for 
which he had received the pontifical approbation was held in 
Washington, in October. In the same month the new course 
of philosophy at the university was instituted by the dedication 
of McMahon Hall, erected with a gift of $400,ocx) from Rev. 
James M. McMahon. an aged priest of the Diocese of New 
York. The Cardinal made an address at the dedication, urging 
the laity, no less than the clergy, to lend their earnest sup- 
port to the university in the program of expansion which 
would be inseparable from its healthful activity. 

A movement was started by Methodist ministers of Chicago 
in 1894 to obtain a modification of laws regarding public wor- 
ship and marriage in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. They de- 
cided to appeal direct to the Pope to secure for Protestants in 
those countries "the same liberty of conscience that is enjoyed 
by Roman Catholic citizens of this country." A letter was 
sent to Cardinal Gibbons in Rome asking his co-operation, and 
he promptly took up the matter with Cardinal Rampolla. In 
a reply to the chairman of the Chicago Methodist Committee, f 
he incorporated a communication to himself from the Papal 
Secretary of State, setting forth that the complaint "has ref- 
erence to a state of things solely dependent upon the civil laws 
in force in the republics of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. 

• CnihoUc Mirror, Sept. 14, 1895. 

t Letter of Cardinal Gibbons to Rev. John Lee, of Chicago, June 14, 1895. 


Nevertheless, as your Eminence has been pleased to communi- 
cate to me the said letter, I have written to the apostolic dele- 
gate in the above-named republics to obtain precise informa- 
tion concerning the laws which affect the condition of the 
Protestants there as regards both the exercise of their re- 
ligion and the celebration of marriage." The Secretary of 
State gave the assurance that he would "call the attention of 
the Holy See to the information which the aforesaid delegate 
would send." 

After the completion of these inquiries. Cardinal Rampolla 
wrote to Cardinal Gibbons,* stating that "the Protestants in 
Peru, far from being restricted in the free exercise of their 
worship, are rather accorded a larger degree of toleration than 
is compatible with a strict construction of the political con- 
stitution of that country. This is evidenced by the fact that 
in Peru, especially in the cities of Lima and Callao, there are 
several Anglican and Methodist chapels where weekly confer- 
ences are held. As to the solemnization of marriages, the 
delegate informs me that, while the constitution of Peru recog- 
nizes no other form than that prescribed by the Council of 
Trent, Protestants do, as a matter of fact, wed with religious 
ceremony in the presence of their ministers, and civilly before 
the consuls and ambassadors of their respective countries. 
The same condition of things relative to marriage exists in 
Bolivia and Ecuador, where the exercise of religious worship is 
regulated by special constitutional enactments, with which the 
Holy See cannot interfere." 

• Letter of Nov. SO, 1895. 

Spanish-American War. 

When the United States and England came perilously near 
an open clash over the Venezuelan boundary dispute, in 1895, 
Cardinal Gibbons saw with misgivings how easy it would be 
for the nation to plunge suddenly into a war that might have 
the most momentous results to the world. As a parish priest 
in Baltimore, he had been a witness of the horrors of armed 
conflict — the broken homes, prostrate communities, the ravings 
of animosity instead of the sober conclusions of reason. In the 
South, as a young bishop, he had labored in the track of Sher- 
man's march, where great rows of chimneys stood like melan- 
choly sentinels on what had been the sites of peaceful dwell- 
ings. He had heard the tales of ruin by the people, how sol- 
diers had swept like a great plague through village and country- 
side, laying a wide region bare, and plunging the helpless into 
keen suffering and abject want. In reconstruction times he 
had seen the vials of misery poured upon the striken South, 
and the pathetic struggle of the people to work upward from 
the havoc. 

In the sometimes too expressive colloquialism of America 
he had much of the "fighter" in him. Possessing strong con- 
victions, he did not hesitate to declare them when occasion 
seemed to call for it. But he regarded war as the last resort. 
In his own country, his wish was to see all vital questions 
decided by the ballot; and among nations, he was an earnest 
advocate of arbitration. 

When the movement for an arbitration treaty between the 
United States and England was started, following the peace- 



able adjustment of the Venezuelan question, he lent it his 
heartiest support. On Easter Sunday, 1896, he joined Car- 
dinals Vaughan, of England, and Logue, of Ireland, the repre- 
sentatives of the Engiisn-speaKing peoples in the Sacred Col- 
lege, in an appeal in behalf of a permanent tribunal of arbitra- 
tion. Although the United States Government was not then 
ready to take as pronounced a position in favor of a perma- 
nent international court as was afterward the case, the appeal 
of the three cardinals had a tremendous effect in arraying the 
Catholics of their countries on the side of this great and 
humane reform. The appeal is here quoted in full: 

"An appeal by the American, Irish and English cardinals in behalf of 
a permanent tribunal of arbitration. 

"We, the undersigned cardinals, representatives of the Catholic 
Church in our respective countries, invite all vtho hear our voices to 
co-operate in the formation of a public opinion vphich shall demand the 
establishment of a permanent tribunal of arbitration as a rational sub- 
stitute among the English-speaking races for a resort to the bloody 
arbitrament of war. 

"We are well aware that such a project is beset with practical diflB- 
cultles. We believe that they will not prove to be Insuperable if the 
desire to overcome them be genuine and general. Such a court existed 
for centuries when the nations of Christendom were united in one faith. 
And have we not seen nations appeal to that same court for its judg- 
ment in our own day? 

"The establishment of a permanent tribunal, composed, may be, of 
trusted representatives of each sovereign nation, with power to nominate 
judges and umpires, according to the nature of the differences that 
arise and a common acceptance of general principles defining and limit- 
ing the jurisdiction and subject-matter of such a tribunal, would create 
new guarantees of peace that could not fail to influence the whole of 

"Such an International court of arbitration would form a second line 
of defence, to be called into requisition only after the ordinary resources 
of diplomacy had been exhausted. It would, at least, postpone the out- 
break of hostilities until reason and common sense had formally pro- 
nounced their last word. 

"This is a matter of which the constitution and procedure must be 
settled by governments. But as governments are becoming more and 


more identified with the aspirations and moulded by the desires of the 
people, an appeal in the first instance must be addressed to the people. 

"We do not hesitate on our part to lift up our united voices and pro- 
claim to all who are accustomed to hearken to our counsels that it is a 
sign of a divine influence at work in their midst when nation shall not 
lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more in 
war, (Isaiah, ii, 4,) for it was written for a future time: 'Come ye and 
behold the work of the Lord, what wonders He hath done upon the 
earth, making wars to cease even to the end of the earth.' (Psalms, 
xvi. 9.) 

"Others may base their appeal upon motives which touch your worldly 
interests, your prosperity, your world-wide influence and authority in 
the afCairs of men. The Catholic Church recognizes the legitimate force 
of such motives in the natural order and blesses whatever tends to the 
real progress and elevation of the race. 

"But our main ground of appeal rests upon the known character and 
will of the Prince of Peace, the Living Founder, the Divine Head of 
Christendom. It was He who declared that love for the brotherhood 
is a second commandment to the people, 'Blessed,' said He, 'are the 
peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.* (Matt, v, 9.) 

"We therefore earnestly invite all to unite with us in pressing their 
convictions and desires upon the respective governments by means of 
petitions and such other measures as are constitutional. 

"James Cardinal Gibbons, 

"Archbishop of Baltimore. 

"Michael Cardinal Logue, 

"Archbishop of Armagh, 
"Primate of All Ireland. 

"Hebbert Cardinal- Vauqhan, 

"Archbishop of Westminster," 

In common with his fellow-countrymen, Cardinal Gibbons 
felt the shock when the battleship Maine was blown up in Ha- 
vana harbor, February 15, 1898. It was a time when all Amer- 
icans whose opinions were apt to guide others found it neces- 
sary to exercise the utmost moderation. At the outset he took 
positive ground against war except as a last resort from which 
there could be no honorable escape. He said he hoped and be- 
lieved, for the honor of humanity, that the explosion was caused 


by an accident, and, in that case, Spain could not be held re- 
sponsible. Neither was Spain to blame if some fiendish Cuban 
had occasioned the fearful loss of life in order to embroil the 
United States in a war with Spain. Even if some fanatical 
Spaniard had perpetrated the crime, he could see no necessity 
for war. The only circumstance, he held, which would war- 
rant active hostilities would be evidence that the Spanish Gov- 
ernment had connived at the explosion; but he refused to be- 
lieve, and held that no sane man could believe, that a chivalric 
Christian nation would be guilty of such inhumanity. When 
the United States appointed a commission to investigate the 
cause of the disaster, he publicly advised that the people should 
await the verdict calmly and dispassionately and should not an- 
ticipate the judgment. 

He knew his country's power, and did not doubt what the 
result would be if war should come; but he felt that this very 
power, this immense superiority of resources over Spain, was, 
in itself, a strong reason why the magnanimous people of 
America should be more than ordinarily careful to be guided 
by the light of justice and humanity. 

A solemn requiem mass for the repose of the souls of the 
officers and sailors of the Maine who lost their lives was of- 
fered in the Baltimore Cathedral, February 28. The Cardinal 
preached, and expressed the opinion that it was out of the 
question to believe Spain was responsible for the disaster. 

"We do not realize," he said, "how ardently we love our 
country until some crisis occurs which awakens our devotion 
to her and arouses our admiration and gratitude for those 
who have died in her service. Such a crisis has quite recently 
occurred ; for we have assembled to assist at the holy sacrifice 
offered up for the souls of the brave officers and men who have 
lost their lives at the post of duty. Too much praise can not 
be bestowed on the President, his Cabinet, and particularly on 
the Secretary of the Navy and his able assistants, as well as 
on the Houses of Congress, for the calmness and tranquillity, 


the self-control and the self-possession which they have exhib- 
ited during the fearful ordeal through which the country has 
been passing in the last few days. It needed only a spark to 
kindle a great conflagration, and the patient and dignified bear- 
ing of the Executive and Legislative bodies is all the more com- 
mendable in view of the mischievous and intemperate utter- 
ances of some sensational papers. This nation is too brave, 
too strong and too just to engage in an unrighteous or pre- 
cipitate war. Let us remember that the eyes of the world are 
upon us, whose judgment we can not despise, and that we will 
gain more applause and credit for ourselves by calm delib- 
eration than by recourse to arms. 'Thrice is he armed who 
hath his quarrel just.' "* 

The Cardinal earnestly expressed the hope that the day was 
not far distant when a grateful nation would show its appre- 
ciation by erecting a monument to the memory of those who 
died on the Maine. When a meeting was held at the City Hall 
in Baltimore to arrange a public performance in aid of the 
monument fund, he accepted an invitation to act as a member 
of the committee. 

He continued to entertain the strongest hopes that war 
would be avoided. On Palm Sunday, April 3, when sermons 
were preached throughout the country by ministers of all de- 
nominations, urging the people to be calm, the Cardinal again 
occupied the pulpit at the Cathedral. "On this day," he said, 
"when we commemorate the entrance of the Lord of Peace 
into Jerusalem, let us implore Him that He will so guide the 
minds and hearts of the President and members of Congress; 
that He will so direct the counsels of Spain ; that He may in- 
spire both nations with a happy solution of the problem which 
confronts us, a solution honorable to both nations, so that the 
clouds of war may be dispelled and the blessings of peace may 
be preserved." 

• Baltimore Bun. March 1, 1898. 


The Cardinal and Archbishop Ireland ventured to enter- 
tain hopes that war might be averted by the mediation of the 
Holy See. Cardinal Rampolla, acting in behalf of the Pope, 
formally offered mediation April 2.* Spain met this offer in 
the spirit in which it was presented, replying to Rampolla as 
follows : 

"The moment the United States Government is disposed to 
accept the aid of the Pope, the Queen of Spain and her Gov- 
ernment will gladly accept his mediation; and in order to 
facilitate the high mission of peace and concord which his 
Holiness is attempting, promise further to accept the proposal 
that the Holy Father shall formulate a suspension of hos- 
tilities; informing his Holiness that, for the honor of Spain, 
it is proper that a truce should be accompanied by the retire- 
ment of the American squadron from the waters of the An- 
tilles, in order that the North American Republic may also 
show its purpose not to support, voluntarily or involuntarily, 
the insurrection in Cuba." 

In the United States, the offer seemed only to increase the 
war feeling. The purpose of the papal action was regarded, 
in some quarters, as an attempt at foreign interference. The 
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs made the unfortunate 
statement that papal mediation came at the suggestion of 
President McKinley, and this further ruffled the waves of 
popular excitement. Mediation, of course, was not to be 
confounded with intervention, and the Pope never went fur- 
ther than to convey to the two powers, in an informal manner, 
his earnest hope that war might be averted, placing his help 
and influence at the service of the two governments impar- 

Archbishop Ireland, w^ith the full sympathy of Cardinal 
Gibbons, went to Washington and used his efforts to induce 
the American Government to take steps for persuading the 
Cuban insurgents to agree to an armistice. All this was 

* Spanish Diplomatic Correspondence and Documents, 1896-1900. 


preliminary to formal mediation, which did not take place, 
and could not be set in motion until both powers were ready to 
accept it.* 

The representatives at Washington of Germany, France, 
Austria, Great Britain and Russia made a united appeal for 
peace to President McKinley, April 6. Through the influ- 
ence of Great Britain, this was moderate in tone, and was 
neither a threat nor a protest. Two days afterward repre- 
sentatives of the same powers supported at Madrid the papal 
suggestion of an immediate armistice in Cuba. Spain was so 
desirous of averting war that in its reply to these powers, 
April 9, it announced a suspension of hostilities against the 
insurgents; but nothing which could be done at Washington 
served to lessen the force of the constantly increasing senti- 
ment in America for war. 

Cardinal Gibbons shared the disappointment of Archbishop 
Ireland, and of many other peace-loving Americans, at the 
failure of these well-meant efforts. Had the United States 
agreed to mediation, there would have been little doubt that 
peace could have been secured on the basis of Cuban independ- 
ence. The passions roused by the destruction of the Maine 
created a popular feeling in the United States for which there 
was no corresponding influence in Spain ; and, although Minis- 
ter Woodford subsequently declared that the desire of Presi- 
dent McKinley's heart was to avert war,t the tide appeared too 
strong to be stemmed at Washington. 

The Cardinal believed that the conservative and thoughtful 
people of the nation did not desire war, and that the inflam- 
mable state of public opinion was chiefly due to the young and 
adventurous, who knew nothing, of the miseries of hostilities 
between two nations, and were eager to enjoy the excitement 
of battle. It soon became evident to him, as to all other ob- 

• Bepton, International Law and Diplomacy of the Spanish- American War, 
pp. 86-89. 

t Address to the Hebrew Young People's Societies, New Yoric, March 8, 1004. 


servers, that war was bound to come; and when hostihties 
broke out he threw in his lot with his country. In an address, 
June 13, at the commencement of Loyola College, in Baltimore, 
he said : 

"We must love our country next to God, and be ready to 
die for it if necessary. We must loyally and firmly sustain 
our laws and our governing powers. There was a time, be- 
fore the war began, when every citizen had the right to express 
his views upon the policy of the nation; but after Congress has 
spoken the words that bring us to war, it is our duty now to 
work with and for our country, and by prayer for and full 
sympathy with those in authority to help bring the conflict to 
a speedy and successful conclusion." 

As the United States army and navy expanded and large 
forces were assembled for the invasion of Spanish territory, 
the appointment of chaplains for the soldiers became a matter 
of importance. Early in July the Cardinal called upon Presi- 
dent McKinley, at Washington, and urged that additional 
Catholic chaplains be assigned to duty, so that they might be 
more nearly in proportion to the number of Catholics in the 
service. He pointed out to the President the great number of 
Catholics who were wearing the uniform of their country and 
that few chaplains of their own faith were available to look 
after their religious welfare. President McKinley, whom he 
knew well and greatly esteemed, received him with the utmost 
cordiality, and readily agreed to appoint additional chaplains 
upon proper recommendation. 

He was engaged in diocesan work in Western Maryland 
when the battle of July 3 resulted in the utter overthrow of 
Cervera's fleet. He cherished a genuine respect for the cour- 
age and high character of Cervera. Soon after the Spanish 
Admiral was carried as a prisoner to the Naval Academy at 
Annapolis, the Cardinal called upon him there. The Admiral 
expressed to him his great satisfaction with his treatment by 
his American captors. Upon his release, before starting for 


his home in Spain, he called upon the Cardinal in Baltimore to 
bid him farewell, and was shown through the Cathedral and 
St. Mary's Seminary. 

When more than lOO members of the Fifth Maryland Regi- 
ment were brought back from the front to the City Hospital, 
in Baltimore, the Cardinal visited them, shaking hands with 
each and saying a kindly word. By chance he met Captain 
Eulate, commander of the Spanish cruiser Vizcaya, at a rail- 
road station, and they had a pleasant conversation. 

President McKinley, in July, 1898, issued a proclamation 
inviting the people of the nation to offer thanks for the Amer- 
ican victories, and the Cardinal promptly responded. A 
circular letter issued by him was read in all the churches of 
the archdiocese Sunday, July 17, from which the following 
extract may be quoted •. 

"While the President naturally rejoices in the extraordinary achieve- 
ments of our naval forces, he is far from indulging in a tone of vain 
complacency and passionate exultation. Filled with a profound sense 
of his responsibilities as the chief magistrate of a great nation, and in 
solemn language worthy of the occasion, he depicts the horrors of war 
with its long train of suffering, disease and death, and he asks us to 
implore the Lord of Hosts, who holds in His hand the destinies of 
nations and of men, to restore to our beloved country the blessings of 
peace. In compliance with the President's proclamation, you will request 
your congregation to unite with you in thanking Almighty God for the 
victories He has vouchsafed to us; in beseeching Him to protect our 
brave soldiers and sailors from the dangers of disease and death which 
surround them; to lead the conflict in which they are engaged to a 
speedy and happy issue and bring back to us once more the inestimable 
blessings of enduring peace at home and abroad. You will also exhort 
your congregation to pray for those brave men who have sacrificed their 
lives in their country's cause." 

The Cardinal looked with misgivings upon the growing 
sentiment in favor of the permanent acquisition from Spain 
of the islands occupied by the United States forces. President 
McKinley requested him to come to Washington for consulta- 


tion, and, upon his arrival, suddenly asked him whether it 
would be best for the United States to retain the Philippines. 
The Cardinal had not expected to express an opinion under 
such circumstances, but he replied briefly and to the point. 
"Mr. President," he said, *'it would be a good thing for the 
Catholic Church, but, I fear, a bad one for the United States." 
He saw that the acquisition of the islands would add im- 
mensely to the Catholic population under the American flag. 
In the Philippines, Cuba and Porto Rico the Protestant re- 
ligion was hardly known. Their people, as Mr. Taft after- 
ward reported to Congress, were sincerely attached to the 
Church, and for solid reasons. The friar question in the 
Philippines was a political one, and was not complicated with 
any desire to throw oflf allegiance to the Church, which had 
been the nursing mother of the Philippine people for so many 
centuries. Catholics proudly pointed to the fact that the 
Filipinos w^ere the only Christian people in all Eastern Asia 
and the territories adjacent. Their conversion had been ac- 
complished by incredible sacrifices on the part of Spanish min- 
isters of religion, who had gradually introduced the habits of 
civilization among the previously barbarous natives, and had 
developed a high degree of culture in Manila and not a few 
other centers. 

In the Island of Luzon, and to some extent in other parts 
of the archipelago, the friars were ardent Spaniards, as well as 
ardent priests. In time, by natural process, they had come to 
absorb many of the functions of government.* They became 
inspectors of the primary schools and presidents of the boards 
of health, prisons and charities; were in charge of the collec- 
tion of taxes ; acted as recruiting officers for the Spanish army; 
attended municipal elections and council meetings, audited 
municipal accounts, and passed upon budgets. They resided 
permanently in the country, identifying themselves completely 

• Atkinson, The Philippine Islands, p. 320 et aeq. 


with the people ; while the Spanish officials were few in number 
and continually changed. As was reported by the Taft Com- 
mission : 

"The truth is that the whole government of Spain in these 
islands rested on the friars. * * * Once settled in a ter- 
ritory, a priest usually continued there until superannuation. 
He was, therefore, a constant political factor for a generation. 
The same was true of the archbishops and the bishops. * * * 
The friars were exempt from trial for offenses, except the 
most heinous, in the ordinary civil courts of the islands, under 
the Spanish rule." 

As the owners of a great proportion of the best agricul- 
tural lands in the Philippines, the friars were firmly entrenched 
by property rights. Many of them were driven from the 
islands by the Aguinaldo revolution ; but, with the restoration 
of peace and the complete triumph of American authority, they 
began to return. Although deprived of their civil functions, 
it was incumbent upon the United States to protect them in 
the ownership of their land, and the problem seemed only a 
little nearer solution than before. There was but one thing to 
do, in the judgment of the Government; and Mr. Taft was 
sent to Rome to confer with Leo XIII for the purchase of the 
friar lands. On his way to the Eternal City, he met Cardinal 
Gibbons at a dinner party in Baltimore, and they exchanged 
views. His negotiations in Rome formed a precedent for the 
American Government, which had not for a long time previous 
found it necessary to deal direct with the papacy. They 
opened a way for a complete settlement, and in a short time 
the United States acquired the greater part of the agricul- 
tural lands of the friars for $7,239,000, to be resold to other 

With the process of years, the intensity of feeling gradually 
calmed. Arrangements were made for purchasing the prop- 
erty rights of the Church in Cuba and Porto Rico as a means 
of abolishing the public support of the clergy. With these 


adaptations to new conditions, Pope Leo expressed himself 
thoroughly satisfied. "The American Government," he said 
to Archbishop Ireland in 1900, "gives proof of good-will, and 
expresses in these acts a spirit of justice and of respect for the 
liberty and rights of the Church. The reports we receive from 
bishops and others indicate this. Differences of detail occur 
as a consequence of war and the newness of complexions. Wc 
have confidence in the intelligence and the spirit of justice 
of the American Government, and believe that the future will 
not lead us to a change of sentiment toward it. Under the 
American Government there will be due respect for rights of 
property and of conscience. You will thank, in my name, the 
President of the Republic for what is being done." 

While the settlement of the difficult Church problems in the 
Philippines, Cuba and Porto Rico was in process of adjust- 
ment, the Cardinal paid another visit to Rome. He had in- 
tended to make the journey in the year 1900, which, as the 
closing one of the century, Leo XIII had decreed to be a holy 
year, offering special privileges to those who would make the 
pilgrimage to the Eternal City. The Cardinal issued a circu- 
lar letter to the clergy of his archdiocese, urging the faithful 
to avail themselves of this privilege ; but circumstances caused 
him to postpone his own visit to the spring of the following 
year. He bade farewell to his congregation at the Cathedral 
May 5, after a conference with Archbishops Ireland, Williams 
and Kain, who journeyed to Baltimore for the purpose. 

Sailing from New York for Naples, he arrived in Rome 
May 22. On the steamship he said mass and delivered a 
brief discourse, as he often did when taking ocean voyages. 
Archbishop Chapelle, Papal Delegate to the Philippines, and 
Mgr. Nozaleda, Archbishop of Manila, had arrived a few days 
before him. He took up his residence at the Procura of St. 
Sulpice, in the Via delle Ouattro Fontane, and was soon en- 
grossed in audiences with the highest authorities of the Church. 
His first reception by the Pontiff was on May 25. He found 


Leo in wonderful health at 92, though seeming as frail as a 
child, but young in his thoughts as most men of 70. The aged 
head of Catholic Christendom talked of the people of the 
United States, and referred again to the special love for them 
which he consistently bore. There was no weakening in the 
marvelous memory, which seemed as universal as the exalted 
office which he held. He showed great knowledge of events 
in the United States, not only ecclesiastical, but political, social 
and economic. The spiritual needs of the Filipinos he be- 
lieved to be reasonable, and he relied on the sense of justice of 
President McKinley and his advisers in working out the diffi- 
cult problems which were constantly arising. The Pontiff 
agreed with Cardinal Gibbons on the great need of American 
priests in the islands, who would understand the American sys- 
tem as applied to church and state better than the Spanish 
priests and the friars, who were beginning to return after their 
exodus a few years before. 

June 18, Leo received the Cardinal in farewell audience, 
expressing the belief that it was the last time he would see 
him ; but so vigorous did he appear that the American primate 
was led to believe he might reach his hundredth birthday. 

While in Rome, the Cardinal gave a dinner, at which seven 
nationalities were represented in the group of fourteen per- 
sons, including two members of the Sacred College, three 
archbishops, three bishops, four priests and two laymen. He 
commented on this as exemplifying in a striking manner the 
unity of faith. He assisted at his titular Church of Santa 
Maria in Trastevere on two occasions. 

Leaving Rome June 21, he spent a few days in Florence, 
and then proceeded homeward by way of France, Belgium, 
Holland, England and Ireland. A stop in Paris brought him 
in intimate touch with the church legislation by the French 
Chambers, the threatening character of which was already 
beginning to cause great concern. On this trip his health was 
not of the best at times, and the heat of the Roman summer 


oppressed him. Paul Bourget was moved to write of him in 
Figaro: "Cardinal Gibbons is of the race of those ascetics in 
whom it seems that mortifications may have left only as much 
flesh as suffices for the labors of the soul." 

In London he was much sought by English Catholics, and 
was hospitably entertained by Cardinal Vaughan. 

In Ireland, while the guest of the Bishop of Cloyne, he was 
presented addresses from Catholic societies and the town 
council. These commented in glowing terms on the advance 
of Catholicism in America during his primacy. The Car- 
dinal was glad to testify to the great share which Irish immi- 
grants had borne in buildinsr up America's prosperity, and to 
the devoted efforts of the hundreds of Irish priests who labored 
among the American people. He went on to say, however, 
that the time had come for the Irish to remain at home, where, 
by the exercise of as much industry and initiative as they would 
show in America, they might obtain prosperity which would 
satisfy their desires. 

He sailed from Queenstown August i8, and, as usual, was 
enthusiastically welcomed on his arrival at New York. Sum- 
ming up his observations abroad, he found that Americans 
were now regarded in a different light by Europeans. 

"As 'nothing succeeds like success,' " he said, "the vigor 
with which we carried on the Spanish-American War and the 
ease with which we gained possession of the Philippines and 
Porto Rico, have caused Europeans to regard the United 
States as a world power. Certainly we are more feared than 
formerly, and there is not a movement made in Europe now 
without consideration of what effect it will have on the United 
States. I will not say that our successes will contribute to our 
happiness as a nation; but certainly they have increased our 
power and prestige abroad. But a few years ago, the United 
States was hardly taken into account at all; now, we are re- 


garded as rivals with the powers of Europe, and are feared 
by them, poHtically and commercially."* 

Baltimore had not neglected to provide one of the charac- 
teristic receptions for its chief citizen. When he arrived in 
his home city, August 25, an immense crowd was waiting in 
the vicinity of the railroad station, where he was formally 
received by Acting Mayor Henry Williams and Charles J. 
Bonaparte. To their welcoming speeches he briefly responded, 
saying there was no country as dear to him as America, and no 
place like Baltimore. He was escorted to the Cathedral by a 
long parade of uniformed knights and others, and in that noble 
edifice spoke again of his pleasure in returning, and bestowed 
the apostolic benediction. Standing on the front steps of his 
residence, he reviewed the parade. It was characteristic of 
his intense piety, and a notable example to his priests, that on 
the same evening, putting aside the exactions of business which 
had accumulated in his absence, he went into retreat with the 
clergy of his diocese for five days at St. Mary's Seminary. 

•Baltimore Bun, August 26, 1901. 

The Strenuous Life: Labors and Reforms. 

One of the most notable reforms which Cardinal Gibbons 
has been instrumental in bringing about was the abolition of 
the Louisiana Lottery, a gigantic scheme of licensed gambling 
which had long been an offense to the nation. Its power, de- 
rived from the laws of the State in which it was entrenched, 
was fortified by organized corruption, and, for a long time, 
seemed impregnable. Able and devoted men undertook to 
overthrow it, but for years their efforts were futile. It ap- 
peased hostile opinion by giving large sums to charities, and 
secured no less personages than Generals Beauregard and 
Early to supervise its drawings. 

The Cardinal, at length, determined to throw his whole 
weight into the struggle. By a letter addressed January ii, 
1892, to Gen. George D. Johnston, of the Anti-Lottery Com- 
mittee, which was opposing a renewal of the charter by the 
State of Louisiana, he turned the tide. He took the ground 
that the question of permitting the lottery to continue was pre- 
eminently one of morality and virtue. Its practical working, 
he showed, tended to enrich the few at the expense and misery 
of the many, to tempt the poor to squander their earnings "in 
the vain, delusive, Tantalus-like hope of one day becoming 
the possessor of a winning number." This fever impelled 
many to theft and dishonesty. He pronounced a lottery an 
enemy to the honor and peace of any community, to the hap- 
piness of home, to individual thrift and enterprise, and vigor- 
ously called on every public-spirited citizen and earnest Chris- 
tian to aid in its suppression. 



"Christian charity and natural philanthropy," he wrote, 
"ahke dictate that we remove from the unwary pitfalls of 
destruction and withdraw the innocent and weak from temp- 
tation. Those bent on suicide should be restrained. The 
burning fagot should be snatched from the child's hand. That 
the Louisiana Lottery, as it is presented to us, proves a snare 
and a delusion to thousands, and is destructive to the peace 
of mind and energy of action so necessary to pursue honor- 
able careers and properly to acquit one's self of life's duties, 
we can not doubt. The daily operations of the scheme make 
the point clear. Worthy, then, of praise and commendation 
are they who strive to quicken the public conscience and to 
array public sentiment against the continuance of the evil, who 
speak and labor in behalf of their fellow-men, by seeking to 
remove from their midst a dire enemy of their manhood, their 
homes and their prosperity. Were the evil confined only to the 
State of Louisiana, I should refrain from giving expression to 
my sentiments ; but since, like a giant tree, it has extended its 
branches over the entire land, embracing in the area of its 
operations Maryland and the District of Columbia, with which 
I am connected, I could not but raise my voice in protest, and 
in particular that our faithful people may help forward the 
good work of putting an end to its ravages."* 

The words of the Cardinal had tremendous influence, not 
only in the country at large, but in Louisiana itself, the home 
of his youth and where his family still resided. He was ven- 
erated there as much as in Baltimore; and an aroused public 
opinion was sufficient to crush the lottery out of existence. 

Throughout the nation there was a powerful chorus of praise 
that a contest so long and unceasingly waged had become 
victorious through the timely and effective help of the Car- 
dinal. Rev. Lyman Abbott, preaching in Plvmouth Church, 
Brooklyn, in the following month, expressed the view of Prot- 

CathoUo Mirror, Jan. 23, 1892. 


estant crusaders, who, like himself, had so long been grappling 
with the monster. He exclaimed : 

"I can not understand the folly of men who would blot out 
the Roman Catholic Church from this country. Thank God 
for Cardinal Gibbons! Long may he wear his red cloak and 
his red cap; and if there should be an election now, and you 
and I could vote, I would vote to make him Pope ! His word, 
flung out with courage and with strong significance, has done 
more than any other word in this country, by press, by poli- 
tician, or by preacher, to make the leaders of that Louisiana 
abomination call a halt, and, at least, pretend a retreat. God 
give us courage to turn it into a rout." 

When the lottery took refuge in Honduras and illicitly car- 
ried on its operations in the United States, though in a much 
modified form, the Cardinal wrote another letter, severely con- 
demning it, and expressing the hope that public opinion would 
stamp it out everywhere. 

Again he raised his voice against current evils, in an article 
on "Patriotism and Politics," in the North American Review 
for April, 1892, in which he actively ranged himself on the 
side of those who were trying to stop the ballot frauds which 
prevailed in many States. He pointed out that when the foun- 
tains of legislation were polluted by lobbying and other cor- 
rupt means, when the hand of bribery was extended to munici- 
pal, State and national legislatures, when lawmakers became 
the pliant tools of selfish and greedy capitalists, then, indeed, 
patriotic citizens had reason to be alarmed about the future of 
the country. "Let the buyers and sellers of votes be declared 
infamous," he declared, "for they are trading in our American 
birthright. Let them be cast forth from the pale of American 
citizenship and be treated as outlaws. I hold that the man 
who undermines our elective system is only less criminal than 
the traitor who fights against his country with a foreign in- 
vader; the one compasses his end by fraud; the other, by 


If the purchase of votes were permitted or condoned, he 
showed, sovereignty would be no longer vested in the people, 
but in corrupt politicians and wealthy corporations. Another 
lamentable result would be that the better class of citizens 
would lose heart and absent themselves from the polls, leav- 
ing elections to be decided by irresponsible political managers. 
For the correction of these evils he suggested : 

First, the enactment of stricter laws against bribery and 
corruption of the ballot, providing adequate punishment. 

Second, consistent efforts to improve the standard of the 
judiciary, which interprets and enforces the laws. 

Third, a vigilant and fearless press, creating a healthy public 

Fourth, greater attention to American history and civics in 
the schools. 

Fifth, a more hearty celebration of the national holidays. 

Sixth, the maintenance of party lines as an indispensable 
means for preserving political purity. One party, he argued, 
watches the other, takes note of its shortcomings, its blunders 
and defects; and has at its disposal the means for rebuking any 
abuse of power by the dominant side. 

The death of Cardinal Manning, January 12, 1892, pro- 
foundly moved him. In the labors of his episcopate he had 
found his principal support and sympathy in Leo XIII, and 
next to that Pontiff, in Manning. It would be difficult to con- 
template what might have been the story of the Catholic 
Church in the last few decades of the nineteenth century had 
the inspiration of these three men been removed. It was fortu- 
nate that the influence of Gibbons and Manning was exercised 
in English-speaking countries, which are naturally readier to 
respond to liberal ideas. Sustained as they were by Rome, the 
zone of their work extended, in some measure, over the whole 
of the civilized world. 

From the year 800 to 1870 the Church had a twofold part 
to play, temporal and spiritual. Since the latter year her mis- 


sion has been almost wholly confined to the characteristic 
spiritual field in which she was born; and it was fortunate 
that in adapting herself to this sudden change from the view- 
point of centuries, Leo, Gibbons and Manning were able to 
read the signs of the times aright and interpret them with 
a vision that stretched far into the future. Manning was an 
admirer of Gibbons, and the American Cardinal neglected no 
opportunity to express his high estimate of his English col- 
league. He believed that, had Manning remained in the es- 
tablished Church, he would have been elevated to the See of 
Canterbury; or, had his activities been exercised in secular 
fields, he might have been a chancellor of the exchequer as 
distinguished as Gladstone, a philanthropist as great as Wil- 
berforce, a temperance apostle as successful as Father Mathew. 
Both these cardinals were in thorough sympathy with the 
wants and legitimate aspirations of the race. They felt that 
the Catholic Church was the greatest force toward realizing 
these aspirations. They went outside the arena of theology to 
grapple with social questions; and the welfare of the laboring 
classes powerfully enlisted their zeal. 

Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of the Propaganda, with whom 
Cardinal Gibbons had been thrown in close contact in the 
settlement of many important questions, died the same day as 
Manning. His loss was keenly felt by the American prelate, 
who had learned to find in his judgment and sympathy a 
strong prop on trying occasions. 

President Cleveland was warmly interested in the golden 
jubilee of the episcopate of Leo XIII. Through Cardinal Gib- 
bons, he sent to the Pontiff as a present one of an edition of 
twenty copies containing the official papers and documents 
written by him during his first term in the Presidency. He 
sent his congratulations in the following letter, addressed to 
Cardinal Gibbons :* 

* Letter of President Cleveland to Cardinal Gibbons, June 0, ISO.'i (Cathedral 
Archives) . 


"Please permit me to transmit, through you, to his Holiness, 
Leo XIII, my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the 
golden jubilee of his episcopate. The pleasure attending this 
expression of my felicitations is much enhanced by the remem- 
brance that his Holiness has always manifested a lively inter- 
est in the prosperity of the United States, and great admira- 
tion for our political institutions. I am glad to believe that 
these sentiments are the natural outgrowth of the Holy 
Father's solicitude for the welfare and happiness of the masses 
of humanity, and his especial sympathy for every effort made 
to dignify simple manhood and to promote the moral and so- 
cial elevation of those who toil. The kindness with which 
his Holiness lately accepted a copy of the Constitution of the 
United States leads me to suggest that, if it does not seem pre- 
sumption, it would please me exceedingly to place in his hands 
a book containing the official papers and documents written 
by me during my previous term of office." 

The Cardinal was at the full of his popularity, abroad as 
well as at home, when the silver jubilee of his own episcopacy 
was celebrated, at the Baltimore Cathedral, October i8, 1893. 
The actual anniversary was August 16; but the celebration 
was held later, in compliance with the wishes of a number of 
prelates living at a distance, who desired to attend. In June, 
a committee of the clergy took the arrangements in charge, 
and issued a circular letter, announcing that a testimonial 
of their devotion would be presented to him. His relations 
with his priests were particularly cordial ; and nowhere in the 
country had the clergy a higher standard than in his own 

"By his wise and progressive principles," the circular read, 
"he has raised the Church before the American public to a 
position of which we may be justly proud. In the adminis- 
tration of the archdiocese he has displaved all the characteris- 
tics of the Good Shepherd ; and he has ever been united to the 
clergy and his people by the closest bonds of devotion and 


love. To his priests he has been, indeed, the amiable and 
sympathetic elder brother, always ready to receive, to counsel, 
and to assist them in the great responsibilities of their voca- 

Archbishop Satolli and a remarkable gathering of the hier- 
archy assembled. The Cardinal himself celebrated mass, and 
Archbishop Corrigan preached. At the conclusion of the ser- 
mon, Rev. Frederick Z. Rooker, vice-rector of the American 
College, who had arrived from Rome, presented to the Car- 
dinal, as a gift from the Pope, a massive design of gold and 
precious stones, bearing a profile miniature of the great bronze 
statue of St. Peter in Rome, representing him as seated upon 
a throne, blessing the whole world. The jewels were sar- 
donyxes, emeralds, and pearls, set in gold. Accompanying 
the gift was a letter from the Pontiff, conveying his heartiest 
congratulations. In the same year, Leo had enjoyed the ex- 
traordinary distinction of celebrating the golden jubilee of 
his own episcopate, and he expressed the fervent wish that 
the Cardinal might be granted the same privilege.* In mak- 
ing the presentation, Father Rooker took the opportunity to 
offer the congratulations of the rector and students of the 
American College, of the executive committee of which Car- 
dinal Gibbons was chairman. 

The sermon of Archbishop Corrigan was eloquent. He 
pointed out that the Cardinal's labors had been crowned with 
the pontifical approval in his elevation to the Sacred College. 

In the afternoon, the priests of the archdiocese presented an 
address to him, in the large hall of St. Mary's Seminary. The 
venerable Mgr. McColgan, his vicar-general, took occasion to 
recall that a Protestant who had watched the future Cardinal 
as a young pastor going from house to house, visiting the 
poor and ministering to their wants, remarked to him that this 
priest would some* day become a great man. The Cardinal 

• Letter of Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons, August 30, 1893, (Cathedral 


replied in terms of warm affection, attributing the unexampled 
growth of the Church in the diocese to the work of the clergy, 
and saying that in the years of his episcopate he had known 
not a single case of insubordination. 

Following, came a dinner, at which a number of the Balti- 
more clergy pleased the Cardinal greatly by singing the stirring 
strains of "Maryland, My Maryland!" The phonograph 
was then a comparatively new invention, and a message from 
Leo XIII, bestowing his blessing on the Cardinal and on the 
American people, reproduced by this means, created great in- 
terest. Mgr. Nugent, of Liverpool, who had been sent to con- 
vey the felicitations of Cardinal Vaughan, and Father Ring, 
who came as the representative of Cardinal Logue,made happy 

In the evening, vespers were celebrated in the Cathedral by 
Archbishop Redwood, who had traveled half of the earth's 
circumference from his home in New Zealand. Archbishop 
Ireland preached one of the most notable sermons of his life. 
on "The Church and the Age."* He began by saying that 
every walk of life was full of men who performed the com- 
mon duties, but few rose above mediocrity. "This evening," 
he said, "be it my coveted privilege to honor a man among 
men. The record of the Cardinal Archbishop of Baltimore! 
I speak of it with pride and exultation ; it is the record I should 
have traced for my ideal bishop and leader of men in these 
solemn times through which the Church is passing." 

Launching into his theme, the Archbishop boldly declared : 

"There is discord between the age and the Church. We 
recall the fact with sorrow. The interests of society and re- 
ligion suffer where misunderstanding and separation exist. 
The fault lies with the age and with the Church, or rather, with 
statesmen of the age and statesmen of the Church. Age and 
Church, rightly apprehended, are in no manner at war. * * * 
I indicate the opportunity for the great and singular church- 

• Catholic Mirror, Oct. 21, 1893. 


man; his work is to bridge the deep valley separating the age 
iiom the Church. * * * What the Church at any time 
was, certain people hold she ever must be; they do her much 
harm, making her rigid and unbending, incapable of adapting 
herself to nev/ and changing surroundings. The Church, 
created by Christ for all ages, lives in every age and puts on 
the dress of every one." 

The Archbishop turned to note the characteristics of the 
age. It was ambitious for knowledge. It was an age of 
liberty, civil and political, and of democracy. It was an era 
of social cravings for justice to all men. He found in this 
the best opportunity for Catholic sympathy and effort. Leo 
he hailed as the "Providential Pope," and Cardinal Gibbons 
as the "Providential Archbishop." 

"How oft in past years," he said, "have I thanked God that 
in this latter quarter of the nineteenth century Cardinal Gib- 
bons has been given to us as a primate, a leader, a Catholic 
of Catholics, an American of Americans, a bishop of his age 
and of his country; he is to America what Leo is to all Chris- 
tendom. Aye, far beyond America does his influence go. 
Men are not confined by frontier lines, and Gibbons is Euro- 
pean as Manning was American. A particular mission is re- 
served to the American Cardinal. The Church and the age 
fight their battles with especial intensity in America. America 
is watched. The prelate who in America is the representative 
of the union of Church and age is watched. His leadership 
guides the combatants the world over. The name of Cardinal 
Gibbons lights up the pages of nearly every European book 
which treats of modern social and political questions. The 
ripplings of his influence cross the threshold of the Vatican. 
The work of Cardinal Gibbons forms an epoch in the history 
of the Church in America. He has made known as no one be- 
fore him did, the Church to the people of America. He has 
demonstrated the fitness of the Church for America, the nat- 
ural alliance existing between the Church and the freedom- 


giving democratic institutions of this country. Through his 
action the scales have fallen from the eyes of non-Catholics — 
prejudices have vanished. He, the great churchman, is the 
great citizen ; Church and country unite in him, and the mag- 
netism of the union pervades the whole land, teaching laggard 
Catholics to love America, teaching well-disposed non-Cath- 
olics to trust the Church. 

"How noble the mission which Heaven has assigned to 
him; how well it has been followed out! * * * He is 
large-minded. His vision can not be narrowed to a one-sided 
consideration of men or things. He is large-hearted. His 
sympathies are limited by the frontiers of humanity; careless 
of self, he gives his best activities to the good of others. He 
is ready for every noble work — patriotic, intellectual, social, 
philanthropic, as well as religious; and in the prosecution of 
these he joins hands with the laborer and the capitalist, with 
the white man and the black man, with the Catholic, the Prot- 
estant and the Jew. He is brave. He has the courage to 
speak and to act in accordance with his convictions. * * * 
Cardinal Gibbons, the most outspoken of Catholics, the most 
loyal co-laborer of the Pope of Rome, is the American of 
Americans !" 

The next day there was a banquet of the Catholic Club of 
Baltimore, attended by Vice-President Stevenson, Senator 
Gorman, Mayor Latrobe, and other men of note. A letter 
from President Cleveland was read, and a number of addresses 
from organizations in the diocese were presented. The Car- 
dinal, when called upon, said he was thankful for two things — 
that he had Christ for his instructor and guide, and that he 
had the privilege of being bom in and raised a citizen of the 
United States, a citizen of Maryland, of Baltimore. In no 
country on the face of the earth had a difficult problem been 
better solved — that of maintaining harmonious relations be- 
tween church and state. Here the church and state ran in 
parallel lines, and did not conflict with one another. The 


church upheld the state; rehgion educated the state and pro- 
claimed the divinity of the laws. Religion sanctified the vir- 
tue of obedience and respect for civil laws, by teaching that 
obedience to civil authority is not a servile homage, but the 
homage of freedom to God Himself. 

"For my part," he added, "I would be sorry to see the rela- 
tions of church and state any closer than they are at present; 
for, if the civil authorities built our churches or subsidized our 
clergy, they might want to have something to say as to the doc- 
trines we teach, and we believe that the Gospel should be free. 
I thank God that we have religious liberty. Foreign govern- 
ments, while recognizing the liberties we enjoy, do not recog- 
nize our strength. The first thing that strikes a foreigner on 
reaching our shores is the absence of soldiers such as he is 
accustomed to see abroad ; but we are strong in the intelligence 
of the people; we are strong in the patriotism that in a few 
hours would transform every citizen into a brave and valiant 

"Another mistake is made in supposing that, because there 
is no union here between church and state, we are not a re- 
ligious people. I maintain that no country in the world has a 
stronger religious basis than the United States. Our common 
law is taken from the common law of England, which is thor- 
oughly permeated with the spirit of Christianity. Where is 
the Christian Sabbath better observed than here? The pro- 
ceedings of the National and State legislatures are opened 
with prayer; and still another evidence of our respect and re- 
gard for religion is the fact of our setting apart a day in each 
year for special thanksgiving, the President of the United 
States and the Governors of States calling upon the people, by 
proclamation, to return thanks for the blessings they have en- 

He closed by expressing the fervent hope that religion and 
patriotism might ever characterize the American people.* 

• Catholic Mirror, October 21, 18Q3. 


For several weeks the Cardinal was besieged with delega- 
tions presenting gifts and addresses. Almost every institution 
in the Diocese of Baltimore sought to present some striking 
token of the affection in which he was held. It was a com- 
bined tribute, which would have overwhelmed almost any man. 
In November a series of public celebrations was held in Wash- 

Preaching at the Cathedral, Sunday morning, November 5, 
the cardinal expressed his deep gratitude to those who had 
taken part in his jubilee. 

Archbishop Satolli performed his duties as apostolic dele- 
gate with satisfaction to the Pontiff. The archbishops de- 
cided at their meeting in Chicago, in 1893, to issue an appeal 
for funds to establish a legation at Washington, and this was 
done soon afterward. Leo held the view that it would not be 
well to retain any delegate in the United States long. It had 
seemed to him that one of the special advantages of such an 
emissary from abroad would be that he would arrive in this 
country free from the local associations which might beset an 
American. After a few years he decided to elevate Satolli to 
the cardinalate, and to nominate a successor. Satolli had 
served three years, when Cardinal Gibbons received a cable- 
gram from Rome, announcing the pontifical decision to confer 
the red hat upon the delegate. The ceremonies of his eleva- 
tion took place January 5, 1896, in the Baltimore Cathedral. 
Archbishop Kain, who had succeeded the venerable Kenrick as 
Archbishop of St. Louis, preached, reviewing the perplexities 
which had confronted the delegate, and the success with which 
he had overcome them. Cardinal Satolli, responding to the 
address of Cardinal Gibbons, spoke from the fullness of his 

"It was you," he said, "who received me at my coming, and 
who immediately became my friend and most zealous pro- 
tector. It was with the aid of your wise counsels and unfail- 
ing encouragement, not without the continual assistance of all 


the prelates of this great American hierarchy, that my labors 
progressed and were crowned with success." 

In a short time, Satolli was succeeded by Archbishop Sebas- 
tiano Martinelli as "Delegate Apostolic in the United States of 
North America." Nearly all the questions with which he had 
dealt so well were permanently settled. 

In the midst of his engrossing labors, in the most strenuous 
part of his life, the Cardinal found time to write his third 
book, "The Ambassador of Christ," issued late in 1896. The 
title is taken from the twentieth verse of the Fifth Chapter of 
II Corinthians : "For Christ we are ambassadors ; God, as it 
were, exhorting by us." It is a book for priests, embodying 
the experiences and views of a man who had achieved remark- 
able success in developing other men for the active ministry. 

He pointed out in its pages that it was doubtful if any age 
or country ever presented a more inviting field for missionary 
labor than the United States. Catholic pastors had here free 
opportunity for their spiritual effort. "No military satrap or 
state functionary is permitted to enter our churches in the 
capacity of an official censor to arrest, fine or imprison a min- 
ister of the Gospel for his conscientious utterances in vindica- 
tion of social morals and in denunciation of official corrup- 
tion." Americans, he thought, were fundamentally a religious 
people. He differed emphatically from the view of those 
who characterized them as a nation so absorbed in trade and 
commerce, in agriculture and politics, as to give scarcely a 
thought to eternal truths. A people having slight regard for 
Christianity would not have spent millions annually in the 
erection of churches and in the maintenance of home and for- 
eign missions. He held that the American people possessed, 
in a marked degree, the natural virtues that were the indis- 
pensable basis of supernatural life. They were gifted and in- 
telligent, self-poised and deliberate, of industrious and tem- 
perate habits, frank, moral, and ingenuous. They had a deep 
sense of justice and fair play; were brave and generous, usually 


having the courage of their convictions; and, with all this, 
were a law-abiding people. 

He maintained that while the Catholic Church accommo- 
dated herself to every form of government, she had a special 
adaptability to the American political system, and to the genius 
of the people. As the great conservative element of society 
the world over, he took the ground that the Church was par- 
ticularly necessary in a government of constitutional freedom, 
where there would naturally be at times a tendency to ex- 

In the "Ambassador of Christ," he discussed the Divine 
vocation of the ministry; the duties of teachers to scholars, 
and of scholars to teachers ; the traits which make a successful 
priest, and the virtues and accomplishments he ought to ex- 
emplify. A reflection of his own deep and constant study of 
the Scriptures is found in a chapter on that subject, in which 
he urged, with particular forcefulness, the necessity of intimate 
communion with the Book of Books. He took strong ground 
in favor of congregational singing, expressing the belief that 
Charles Wesley had accomplished as much in the cause of 
Methodism by his hymns as John Wesley effected by his 
preaching. He urged that priests should get out among their 
people, declaring that the visitation of the sick and distressed 
was the touchstone of apostolic zeal and charity. In particu- 
lar, he advised attention to the young; and paid a beautiful 
tribute to the Christian mother. 

Learning he pronounced essential for a priest. Piety, though 
indispensable, could never be an adequate substitute for learn- 
ing. Regarding the argument sometimes cited, that the Apos- 
tles, except St. Paul, were illiterate men, he answered that, 
apart from their spiritual inspirations, they were far from 
being deficient in theological knowledge. They exhibited a 
marked familiarity with the ancient prophecies; and did they 
not study divinity for three years at its very source? Since 
their day, he pointed out, knowledge had become far more 


generally diffused; and the priest should keep pace with the 
trend of modern thought in order to make himself an effective 
unit in the world around him. He insisted upon the poverty 
of the priesthood, citing Christ as the model. 

In the parish schools he advised the clergy to see that, next 
to God, their country should hold the strongest place in the 
affections of the children. Familiar lessons should be incorpo- 
rated in the text-books, inculcating reverence for American po- 
litical institutions, and embodying a knowledge of the duties 
and rights of the citizen. The public reading in the school 
room, at interv^als, of the Declaration of Independence and the 
Constitution he recommended as a profitable and instructive 
task. "The Ambassador of Christ," since its publication, has 
been used as a guide for the clergy throughout the English- 
speaking world. 

The Cardinal warmly sympathized with the sufferers from 
the terrible Armenian massacres which were perpetrated in the 
closing decade of the nineteenth century. At a mass-meeting 
held in Baltimore, February 12, 1896, to protest against the 
outrages, he sat on the platform with a number of prominent 
Protestants, and spoke earnestly in favor of providing means 
for relief. 

He was not insensible to the characteristic American sin of 
worry ; and in a sermon at the Baltimore Cathedral, December 
4, 1898, he preached on "Solicitude in Worldly Affairs." He 
ventured to say that there was scarcely a member of his con- 
gregation who was not agitated by some vain hope or fear. 
He warned them against deranging the order of Divine Provi- 
dence by superadding to the cares of today the solicitudes of 
tomorrow, which are often imaginary, or magnified by the 

The splendid ceremonies which marked the return of Ad- 
miral Dewey as a victor from the Philippines, in the autumn 
of 1899, took the form of a national ovation. The Cardinal 
pronounced the benediction at the presentation of a sword to 


Dewey by President McKinley in behalf of Congress. This 
event took place in Washington, October 3, 1899, a few days 
after the triumphal reception of Dewey in New York. 

The Cardinal did not fail to take note of the development of 
the woman suffrage movement in America, but could find in it 
nothing to commend. He uniformly insisted that the Chris- 
tian home was the corner-stone of the nation, and in numerous 
addresses exalted the Christian mother. His ideas on this, 
like many other topics, were clear cut. In a sermon in the 
Cathedral, February 4, 1900, he said: 

*T regard 'woman's rights' women as the worst enemies of 
the female sex. They rob woman of all that is amiable and 
gentle, tender and attractive; they rob her of her innate grace 
of character, and give her nothing in return but masculine bold- 
ness and brazen effrontery. They are habitually preaching 
about woman's rights and prerogatives, and have not a word 
to say about her duties and responsibilities. They withdraw, 
her from those obligations which properly belong to her sex 
and fill her with ambition to usurp positions for which neither 
God nor nature ever intended her. 

"Under the influence of such teachers, we find woman, es- 
pecially in higher circles, neglecting her household duties, never 
at peace unless she is in perpetual motion or unless she is in a 
state of morbid excitement. She never feels at home unless 
she is abroad. When she is at home, the home is irksome to 
her. She chafes and frets under the restraints and responsi- 
bilities of domestic life. Her heart is abroad; it is exulting 
in imagination, in some social triumph or reveling in some 
scene of gayety and dissipation. Her afflicted husband comes 
home to find it empty or occupied by a woman whose heart is 
empty of affection for him. She is ill at ease. Hence arise 
disputes, quarrels, recriminations, estrangements, or the last 
act of the drama is often divorce! I speak with sober truth 
when I affirm that for the wrecks of families in our country 
woman has a large share of the responsibility. 


"Where will woman find the charter of her rights and dig- 
nity? In the Gospel. The Catholic Church, following the 
teachings of the Gospel and the Epistles of St. Paul, proclaims 
woman as the peer of man. 

"Christian women, when your husbands and sons return to 
you in the evening after buffeting with the waves of the world, 
let them find in your homes a haven of rest. Do not pour into 
the bleeding wounds of the heart the gall of bitter words, but 
rather the oil of gladness and consolation."* 

The Cardinal remained firmly opposed to confounding the 
Christian Sunday with the Jewish, or even the Puritan Sabbath. 
When a movement for stricter Sunday observance was started 
in Baltimore, early in 1900, he expressed his views vigorously. 
The Christian Sabbath, he said, prescribes the golden mean be- 
tween rigid Sabbatarianism on the one hand, and lax indul- 
gence on the other. Rigorously enforced laws would cause a 
revulsion of public feeling, "and the pendulum would oscillate 
to excessive laxity." Sunday he defined as a day for joy, and 
by no means of gloom. 

"It is a day," he remarked, "when we are exhorted to be 
cheerful without dissipation, grave and religious without sad- 
ness or melancholy. We should remember that 'the Sabbath 
was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath ;' that it is a 
day consecrated not only to religion, but also to relaxation of 
mind and body. My idea of the Lord's Day is expressed in 
these words of the Psalmist, 'This is the day which the Lord 
hath made ; let us rejoice and be glad.' " 

At the dedication of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at 
St. Louis, April 30, 1903, he was invited to deliver the invoca- 
tion, which he pronounced as follows, in the presence of a vast 
assemblage : 

"We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom and justice, 
through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are 

• Catholic Mirror. Feb. 10, 1900. 


enacted and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of 
counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that 
his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be 
eminently useful to thy people over whom he presides, by 
encouraging due respect for virtue and religion, by a faithful 
execution of the laws in justice and mercy and by restricting 
vice and immorality. 

"We pray for the president and directors of the Louisiana 
Purchase Exposition, that their arduous labors may be crowned 
with success and may redound to the greater growth and devel- 
opment of this flourishing city on the banks of the Father of 

"May this vast territory which was peacefully acquired a 
hundred years ago, be for all time to come the tranquil and 
happy abode of millions of enlightened, God-fearing, and in- 
dustrious people, engaged in the various pursuits and avoca- 
tions of life. 

"As this new domain was added to our possessions without 
sanguinary strife, so may its soil never be stained by blood- 
shed in any foreign or domestic warfare. 

"May this commemorative exposition, to which the family 
of nations are generously contributing their treasures of art 
and industry, bind together the governments of the earth in 
closer ties of fellowship and good-will, and of social and com- 
mercial intercourse. 

"May it hasten the dawn of the reign of the Prince of 
Peace, when national conflicts will be adjusted, not by hostile 
armies, but by permanent courts of arbitration. 

"May this international exhibition inaugurated in the inter- 
ests of peace and commerce, help to break down the wall of 
dissension, of jealousy and prejudice that divides race from 
race, nation from nation, and people from people, by proclaim- 
ing aloud the sublime Gospel truth that we are all children of 
the same God, brothers and sisters of the same Lord Jesus 


Christ, and that we are all aspiring to a glorious inheritance 
in the everlasting Kingdom of our common Father."* 

On the day before the dedication he presided at a public 
debate on questions of theology at the Catholic University of 
St. Louis, v/hich is directed by the Jesuit fathers. President 
Roosevelt sat beside him, and listened to the discourse. 

The "sweatshop" evil having developed to extensive pro- 
portions in Baltimore, where the manufacture of clothing had 
become one of the principal industries, he took a prominent 
part in an agitation which resulted in laws that greatly re- 
stricted the evil. Preaching in the Cathedral December 6, 
1903, he sharply condemned those who were responsible for 
the unsanitary conditions under which thousands of men and 
women were compelled to labor, and demanded remedial 

* Baltimore Sun, May 1, 1003. 

The Papal Conclave of 1903. 

The prophecy of the flickering taper borne before Leo XIII 
when he was carried into St. Peter's for the first time in the 
sedia gestatoria must be fulfilled.* That soul which had as- 
pired to link heaven and earth was immortal; but the mind 
which had glowed so long like a brilliant torch could not burn 
forever, and the worn body, almost transparent in its frailty, 
must yield in time to the weakness of the flesh. His eyes had 
beheld the rising* sun of a new century; and it was beginning 
to set when, as often before, a whisper that the Pope had been 
taken ill passed around the Vatican. f This time it was pneu- 
monia, "the friend of the aged." There was little hope from 
the first ; but the world had become so accustomed to the mar- 
vels of Leo's vitality that it was prepared for anything. 

Four months before, he had passed the twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of his pontificate. When he was elected to succeed 
Pius IX, his age — 68 years — had been the only argument used 
against him ; but, though his predecessor's reign was the long- 
est in the history of the papacy, he had not fallen far short of 
equaling it.J 

With the approach of the silver jubilee, Cardinal Gibbons 
wrote a letter in the name of himself and all the American 
bishops, congratulating the Pontiff upon the memorable anni- 
versary. § He enumerated three things as special proofs of 
Leo's interest in the Church in America. These were : 

* When a pope is crowned, a priest bears in front of him a waxen taper, 
which is alternately lit and snuffed out, to indicate the temporary nature of 
life and earthly greatness. 

t July 3, 1903. 

t Pius IX reigned 32 years. 

§ Letter o£ Cardinal Gibbons to Leo XIII, March 3, 1902. 



The convoking of the Third Plenary Council. 

His cordial commendation of the Catholic University, and 
continuous assistance in the development of that great project. 

His special letter of congratulation on the centennial of the 
American hierarchy. 

The Pope's reply reflected his joy at the growth of the 
Catholic faith in the United States. "After long experience 
of the fact," he wrote, "we are impelled to declare that, thanks 
to your influence, we have always found among your people 
that submissiveness of mind and responsiveness of will which 
become true children of the Church, and so, while the tenden- 
cies of nearly every nation that has for centuries professed the 
Catholic religion are a source of sorrow, the flourishing condi- 
tion of your churches in the strength of their youth uplifts the 
soul and fills it with joy." 

The Cardinal ordered a triduum, April 3, in honor of the 

Leo had reached the age of ninety-three years when his last 
illness fell on him. It was not long before his physicians and 
household saw that recovery was hopeless, and their efforts 
were directed toward prolonging his life by the artificial use 
of oxygen and other devices of medical science. When it ap- 
peared that death was inevitable. Cardinal Gibbons was 
promptly advised from Rome. No American up to that time 
had taken part in the election of a Pope. Cardinal McCloskey 
was a member of the Sacred College at the death of Pius IX, 
in 1878, and sailed for Rome to take part in the conclave; but 
he had proceeded only as far as Paris, when notified that a 
new pontiff had alreadv been elected. Travel to Europe was 
quicker now, and Cardinal Gibbons was resolved that physical 
obstacles should not prevent his participation in this exalted 
function of his office. 

For several days before the final message from Rome caused 
him to resolve to start, accommodations were secured for him 


provisionally on every steamship that sailed from New York. 
He was kept informed of the movements of vessels and other 
details regarding the prospects for his trip, until midnight on 
each of those days; and when he set foot on La Savoie, July 9, 
he found his apartments ready, despite the fact that the tide of 
European travel was then at its heaviest, and accommodations 
on fast ocean ships could usually be obtained only by waiting 
for months. So hurried was his departure from Baltimore 
that when he entered the room of Rev. P. C. Gavan, chancel- 
lor of the diocese, who was to accompany him as conclavist, 
to summon him to start. Father Gavan was compelled to leave 
a letter half-written on his desk. When he returned it was 
still there, but he had met abroad the one for whom it was in- 

Weeks passed, but still Leo lived. At last, all human re- 
sources failed, and on July 20 he expired. 

Cardinal Gibbons was then in Paris. His presence in Rome 
was not immediately necessary, as custom prescribes that the 
conclave shall assemble on the tenth day after the death of the 
Pope. He spent several days in Lucerne, where United States 
Senator Elkins, of West Virginia, gave a dinner in his honor, 
and where he also met Senator Depew, of New York and the 
man who was to be Depew's successor. Justice O'Gorman. 
He arrived in Rome Sunday morning, July 26, and took up his 
quarters at the Procura of St. Sulpice, where there were also 
four French cardinals — Richard, of Paris; Perraud, of Autun; 
Lecot, of Bordeaux, and Coullie, of Lyons. 

The conclave did not assemble until the following Friday 
evening. In the interim there were different services in the 
Sistine Chapel every morning, after which the cardinals gath- 
ered in the hall of the Vatican and attended to the business of 
the Church, as is their custom when the papacy is vacant. For 
the time being, they were all sovereigns, sharing equally in the 
decision of questions which came before them. The Camer- 
lengo. Cardinal Oreglia, the only member of the conclave who 


had not been created by Leo, presided. The business to be 
transacted was read by Mgr. Merry del Val, secretary of the 
conclave, who was not then a cardinal, but was destined soon 
to succeed to that dignity and to the papal secretaryship of 

About six o'clock Friday evening the electors entered the 
conclave and drew lots for the apartments in the Vatican 
which they were to occupy. The American Cardinal drew 
No. 5, and was given two rooms near the entrance to the beau- 
tiful staircase leading to the apartments lately occupied by 
Leo. These rooms had been used by a lay official of the 
Vatican. They were small and scantily furnished, each con- 
taining a desk, one chair, a bed and a washstand. One room 
was for the Cardinal himself; the other for his conclavist. 
Their meals were served by a domestic, who occupied quar- 
ters in another part of the building. 

Leo himself had been camerlengo at the death of Pius IX. 
He had revised, to some extent, the elaborate regulations for 
the election of a pope, and had written the prescriptions care- 
fully in a book, which was used for the first time in the choice 
of his own successor. These formalities are a historic in- 
heritance, and have developed from the necessity of safe- 
guarding the secrecy and fairness of an election. The cardi- 
nals are practically prisoners while in conclave. In some re- 
spects, they are in the position of an English or American jury 
locked up to deliberate upon a verdict, though infinitely more 
dignity and solemnity surround them and far greater precau- 
tions are taken to bring about the best decision. 

It may be mentioned that after an interregnum of two 
years and nine months had followed the death of Clement IV, 
in 1269, the seventeen cardinals who were voting at Viterbo 
were shut up in the papal palace, with nothing to eat and drink 
but bread and water. In order to hasten the decision, Charles 
of Anjou went further and took off part of the palace roof; 


but even after this, six months elapsed before they united in 
electing Gregory X.* The pontiff whose election had been 
thus protracted drew a lesson from experience, and decreed by 
an ordinance of 1274 that the electing cardinals should be sub- 
jected to a rigorous seclusion. Time has somewhat modified 
the severe discipline imposed by him and succeeding pontiffs in 
the Middle Ages; but the principles of seclusion and secrecy 
have been carefully preserved. At Rome, in 1903, a ballot 
was taken every morning. The master of ceremonies passed 
along the corridors where the electors were lodged, summon- 
ing them with the formula: "In capellam, Domini" (to the 
chapel, my lords). They proceeded to the beautiful Sistine 
Chapel, where they took the seats allotted to them, over each 
of which was a canopy, indicating the sovereign dignity which 
they possessed for the time being. The sub-dean celebrated 
low mass, and then the voting began. 

Three cardinals (scrutatores) were chosen by lot each time 
to preside over the voting; three {revisores) to verify the 
count, and three (infirmarii) to collect the ballots of the sick. 
Each elector received a schedula, or voting paper. The ballots 
were folded thrice. On the top of the form were printed the 
words, "Ego cardinalis," and there the elector wrote his name. 
On the middle were the words, "Eligo in summiim Pontificem 
Rm. Dm. meum D. Card." (I elect for sovereign pontiff my 

most Reverend Lord Cardinal ) , The name 

of the candidate for whom the elector wished to vote was writ- 
ten here. At the bottom of the ballot, which was left empty, 
the elector inscribed a device, which was not infrequently a 
text of Scripture or a prayer. The top and bottom of the 
ballot were then folded together, the bottom being over the 
top, and were secured by a seal, which did not betray the 
elector's identity. Two designs were engraved on the reverse 

• Slayden, The Secrets (Private Apartments) of the Vatican, p. 49 et seq. 
This book, the title of which is not meant to convey any invidious meaning, 
gives an accurate and sympathetic, as well as recent, account of the method of 
electing a pope. 


side. The word "Nomen" was printed on the top one, mean- 
ing that under it on the obverse side would be found the name 
of the voter. The word "Signa" was on the lower, indicating 
that on the obverse would be found the voter's device. These 
designs prevented the paper from being read through. 

On the altar stood a chalice, in which the cardinals, advanc- 
ing, deposited their ballots, one by one, in due order. Each 
kneeling, pronounced in Latin these words : "I call Christ our 
Lord, Who will judge me, to witness that I elect the person 
who, before God, I think should be elected, and which I shall 
make good in the vote of accession."* 

After a vote has been completed, the ballots are burned. If 
there has been no election, a little damp straw is strewn on the 
flames, which causes a thick column of smoke (sfumota) to 
arise from the chimney. By this means, the waiting crowd 
in the piazza of St. Peter's knows that the papacy is still va- 
cant. After a pope is elected the ballots are burned without 
the straw. 

At the outset of the balloting for the successor of Leo, Car- 
dinal Rampolla developed the greatest strength; but an unex- 
pected event on Sunday morning, August 2, after the third 
scrutiny, was the communication of the veto of Austria, by the 
Archbishop of Cracovia. The three great Catholic powers — 
Austria, France and Spain — had been allowed this right by cus- 
tom rather than law, and had not infrequently sought to exer- 
cise it. Austria feared that the gifted Rampolla was too 
friendly to France. The difficulty which an aggressive papal 
secretary of state must find in obtaining the equal good-will of 

• The vote of accession represents a second step, but by vote of the cardinals 
it was dispensed with in 1903. It is seldom that a "candidate receives the 
required two-thirds malority on the first ballot. If no candidate has received 
two-thirds, and the vote of accession Is to be talcen, a second ballot begins 
immediately. Each of the electors now marks his vote with the same device 
and number as before; but In the middle part of the voting paper the words are 
altered to read. "Accedo Rcr.erendissimo D. men D. Card." (I transfer my vote to 

my Lord Cardinal .) If an elector wishes to vote as on 

the first ballot, he writes "Nemini" after this, meaning: "I do not wish to 
transfer my vote to anyone." If the votes of accession combined with those of 
the first ballot give any cardinal the requisite majority, a minute verification 


all the powers is apparent ; and from the first it had been sus- 
pected that the career of Rampolla had been so prominent that 
his election as pontiff would be impossible. 

On this scrutiny Rampolla received 29 votes; Sarto, 21, and 
Gotti, 9. The admirable attitude taken by the former secretary 
of state increased his vote to 30 on the next scrutiny, Sunday ' 
evening, while Sarto received 24 and Gotti received but 3. It 
seemed that the tide was turning to Sarto, the pious and simple- 
hearted patriarch of Venice, who beheld with anxiety — almost 
terror — the unexpected turn of affairs. So little had it en- 
tered into his thoughts that he might be chosen to the pon- 
tificate, that when he left his see to take part in the conclave, 
he had bought a return ticket. Seeing that the votes for him 
were increasing, he arose and, in earnest and pathetic manner, 
besought his colleagues not to consider him, insisting that the 
burden was too heavy for his shoulders, and that he wished to 
return to Venice. With tears in his eyes, he exclaimed : 
"Electio mea esset ruina ecdesice" (my election will be the 
ruin of the Church). His great humility deeply impressed 
all, but more votes were cast for him, and on Monday morn- 
ing he received 2y, while Rampolla fell to 24, Again he 
seemed positively frightened, and begged the cardinals not to 
think of him. With tears, he exclaimed : "Obtestor vos uf 
nominis mei ohliviscamini" (I beseech you to forget my name). 
Cardinal Lecot having addressed a remark to him in French, 
he replied that he did not understand that language. With 
Gallic pride, Lecot responded : "You will never be pope if you 
do not speak French." "Deo gratias" (thanks Jbe to God!), 
murmured Sarto fervently. 

Such appeals could not be disregarded, and all the car- 
dinals seemed to consider his election as out of the question. 
When Cardinal Gibbons questioned several of them, they took 
the view that Sarto could no longer be a candidate. Rampol- 
la's election seemed impossible, and this threw the situation 
back to where it was before they entered the conclave. 


After the meeting on Monday morning, Cardinal Satolli 
called on Cardinal Gibbons in his room, and they discussed the 
situation with grave concern. Satolli could see no available 
candidate. Cardinal Gibbons suggested to him that he talk 
with Sarto, his fellow-countryman, and implore him to lay 
aside his objections, urging upon him, as a duty, to submit to 
the will of Providence and sacrifice himself in the interest of 
religion. Satolli promised to undertake this mission. So 
well did he execute it that at their next meeting Satolli in- 
formed the American Cardinal that Cardinal Sarto had yielded 
to the plea and withdrawn his declination. Cardinal Gibbons 
requested Satolli to announce this to the conclave, when a joyful 
"Anniiit" (he has consented) passed among the electors. Car- 
dinal Satolli declared to the conclave that Sarto, yielding to the 
pressure of his colleagues, had resigned himself to Providence. 
On the ballot he received 35 votes, 7 less than the required 
number. His election soon followed. 

Thus was the voice of an American, heard for the first time 
in a papal conclave, potent in bringing about its decision. It 
was in other respects a repetition, in part, of the conclave of 
1878, when Cardinal Pecci, the future Leo XIII, had been on 
the point of pleading with the Sacred College not to elect him. 
O'Reilly relates that just before the voting began Pecci went 
to one of the most revered members of the Sacred College and 

"I can not control myself. I must address the Sacred Col- 
lege. I fear that they are about to commit a sad mistake. 
People think I am a learned man. They credit me with pos- 
sessing wisdom ; but I am neither learned nor wise. They sup- 
pose I have the necessary qualifications for a pope ; I have noth- 
ing of the kind. That is what I want to say to the cardinals." 

The other cardinal replied : "As to your learning, we, not 
you, can best judge of that. As to your qualifications for the 


pontifical office, God knows what they are. Leave it all to 
Him." Cardinal Pecci obeyed.* 

On Monday, when the election of Cardinal Sarto was as- 
sured, Cardinal Gibbons visited him in his room. They spoke 
of the heavy trials and responsibilities which the papacy 
would bring; but Cardinal Gibbons hastened to say that he 
thought the American Church would be a source of consolation 
in the midst of these burdens. Afterward the new Pope wrote 
to him that he had verified the truth of this prediction. 

Again Cardinal Gibbons met the new Pope on the evening 
of the day of election, and obtained for some Americans the 
first public audience which Pius X gave. These pilgrims had 
started to Rome to see Leo XIII, and were obliged to leave the 
next day. When the Cardinal presented his request for an 
audience, the new Pontiff replied that he would grant it with 
pleasure "at any time you suggest." Cardinal Gibbons re- 
plied : 

"I shall be glad if you will receive them, your Holiness, at 
any time which yon may suggest." 

"I will receive them tomorrow afternoon," replied Pius, and 
he kept his word. 

The American Cardinal accompanied the pilgrims. When 
he went forward to kiss the Pope's hand, as is customary, 
Pius would not permit it ; but, opening his arms, embraced him 
with warm affection and kissed him on both cheeks. 

In another audience before his departure, Pius expressed 
deep interest in the United States. He lacked the almost en- 
cyclopaedic knowledge of America which Leo had acquired, 
and asked many questions. He had met but few Americans ; 
but those with whom he had come in contact impressed him 
favorably. For the American Cardinal he expressed his ad- 
miration and love. The Cardinal took advantage of the op- 
portunity to interest Pius in the Catholic University, and to 
obtain from him a promise that he would issue a brief in aid 

• O'Reilly, "Life of Leo XIII," p. 310. 


of that project, so dear to the hearts of the American hier- 
archy. One of his first pontifical acts was to direct an exhibit 
of the Vatican treasures at the St. Louis Exposition. 

After spending several days at Castle Gandolfo, the summer 
home of the American College, Cardinal Gibbons left Rome for 
Switzerland, where he remained ten days at Territet, on the 
Lake of Geneva, as the guest of Francis de Sales Jenkins, a 
member of a noted Catholic family of Maryland, identified 
with the State since the days of the Calverts. This beautiful 
home, which was called the "Villa Maryland," was near the 
Castle of Chillon, made famous by Byron ; and there, amid con- 
genial surroundings, the Cardinal was able to recuperate after 
the memorable experience through which he had passed. From 
Territet, he proceeded to Houlgate, Normandy, where he was 
the guest of Leopold Huffer for ten days, at the "Villa Co- 

Sailing from Cherbourg, the Cardinal returned to Baltimore 
September 24, and found, as before, a great city full of people 
eager to acclaim him.* This time they regarded him with ad- 
ditional pride because of his participation in the conclave, and 
enthusiasm overflowed. In the waiting-room of the railroad 
station to receive him were Mayor McLane and other repre- 
sentatives of the civic authorities, while, outside, the crowds 
cheered a large delegation which had come from Washington, 
and otherwise vented their feelings in perfect good humor. 
Applause almost shook the building when the Cardinal stepped 
from his car. The Mayor greeted him in the following words : 

"Your Eminence has already received a most hearty wel- 
come, most properly extended to you on your arrival in this 
country by the members of the society in which you have 
shown so much interest, and to whose success you have con- 
tributed so much. It becomes my pleasant duty to extend to 
you a wider welcome, which embraces the citizens of Baltimore 
generally, of all creeds and conditions, who, one and all, cher- 

• Baltimore ffun," Sept. 25, 1008.- 


ish the deepest reverence and respect for your great and noble 

"When the news of the death of the late Pope reached us, 
it was received with a feeling of apprehension by us on ac- 
count of the arduous strain of your great responsibilities in 
a trying climate, and we feared its influence upon your health, 
and the sympathies of the entire community went out to you. 
To see you return in good health is a great pleasure, and, in 
behalf of my fellow-citizens of Baltimore, I extend to you a 
most hearty welcome and the best wishes of the entire com- 
munity for a long Hfe of perfect happiness." 

Judge Heuisler, a Catholic, spoke in the name of the mem- 
bers of his faith, when he said : 

"It is true, your Eminence, and happy am I to say it, that 
all the people of America appreciate you, revere you, and love 
you for the work that you have done ; and this greeting, while 
with us but local, will be heard with pleasure and with sym- 
pathy in all sections of our common country. In the presence 
of profound emotions, all hearts must speak from out the win- 
dows of the soul; the eye must flash the welcome and the lips 
be dumb; and I will say no more. A thousand million wel- 

The Cardinal replied briefly and simply, saying that he would 
defer his response until he arrived at the Cathedral. 

A great parade of societies, not a few of them in uniform, 
escorted him to that noble edifice. Every window along the 
route was crowded with people, who joined in the applause of 
the dense throngs on the streets. He was, in truth, a popular 
hero; and, after the American fashion, bowed continuously, 
smiling and acknowledging the numerous salutes from per- 
sonal friends. In front of the Cathedral a group of young 
ladies, in white, fluttering little American flags, greeted him, 
and one of them presented him a bouquet of 69 roses, one for 
each year of his Hfe. Seated on the portico of the Cathedral, 


with the Mayor beside him, he spent an hour reviewing the 

After the procession was over, the Cardinal entered the 
church, and spoke simply to his friends and neighbors. He 
told them of his travels; of some of his experiences in Rome; 
and did not fail to mention that the American pilgrims had 
been the first to be received by the new Pontiff. 

"And now," he remarked simply, "I am most happy to be 
home again." 

He commended Pius X to the prayers of all, and bestowed 
his blessing on the multitude. Solemn benediction followed. 
Proceeding to his residence, he found another cheering crowd, 
and was obliged to appear at his window repeatedly and ex- 
press his thanks. 

Following what had long been his custom after returning 
from a trip abroad, he preached at the Cathedral Sunday, 
October 4, on his experiences. A great congregation, includ- 
ing many Protestants, was present, and the service was con- 
ducted with the air of piety and majesty characteristic of those 
held within its walls. The Cardinal spoke of the nations rep- 
resented by the 62 electors who had taken part in the conclave, 
and added : 

"I should not be surprised if in the next conclave the Cath- 
olic Church of the United States were to be represented by sev- 
eral members of the Sacred College, so that the number of 
cardinals from our country may be commensurate with the 
population, the grandeur and the commanding influence of the 
nation, and may be in keeping also with the numerical strength 
of our hierarchy and laity and the splendor and progress of our 
religious and charitable institutions. Without revealing its se- 
crets, I can most positively assure you and the American people 
that the election of the Pope was conducted with absolute free- 
dom, with the utmost fairness and impartiality, and with a dig- 
nity and solemnity becoming the august assemblage of the 
Sacred College and the momentous consequences of their suf- 


frages. * * * Qn leaving the Sistine Chapel at the con- 
clusion of the conclave, and contemplating the overruling ac- 
tion of the Holy Ghost in those heterogeneous elements, I ex- 
claimed : 'The finger of God is here.' 

"Two ballots were cast each day in the conclave, one in the 
forenoon and another in the afternoon. The votes for Car- 
dinal Sarto steadily increased from the first to the seventh bal- 
lot, on which he was elected. When the Cardinal observed 
that the suffrages for him were augmenting, he was visibly 
disturbed, and in a fervent speech he implored his colleagues 
not to regard him as a candidate. Contrary to his wishes, the 
votes for him increased. He then became alarmed, and in a 
second speech, in most pathetic language, he again besought 
the cardinals to forget his name, as he would not accept a 
burden too heavy for him to bear. All were moved by the 
modesty and the transparent sincerity of the man. When he 
resumed his seat, his cheeks were suffused with blushes, tears 
were gushing from his eyes, and his body trembled with emo- 
tion. It was only after some of the leading cardinals en- 
treated him to withdraw his opposition, that he finally and 
reluctantly consented to abide by the will of God and accept 
the sacrifice. Never did a prisoner make greater efforts to 
escape from his confinement than did Cardinal Sarto to es- 
cape from the yoke of the papacy. With his Divine Master, 
he exclaimed: 'Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass 
from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done!' 
WTien his election was officially announced, his florid counte- 
nance assumed a deathly pallor and restoratives were applied 
to save him from fainting."* 

The Cardinal characterized the new Pontiff as "a man of 
God and a man of the people." 

The promised brief on the Catholic University, in the sup- 
port of which all elements in the Church in America were 
again united, was dated September 9, 1903. It was addressed 

• Baltimore Sun, Oct. 5, 1903. 

VISIT TO RO]\IE IN 1008. 325 

to Cardinal Gibbons as chancellor of the institution. The Pon- 
tiff gave his hearty sanction to the proposal that a collection be 
taken up in all the churches throughout the United States an- 
nually for ten years, on the first Sunday in Advent, or the first 
convenient Sunday thereafter, "with a view of enhancing the 
dignity and enlarging the influence of this noble seat of learn- 
ing." He declared it to be his earnest wish that the bishops 
and laity should "labor strenuously for the good of the uni- 

The Cardinal paid another visit to Rome in 1908, when he 
went to London to attend the International Eucharistic Con- 
gress there, at which he was invited to preach. Sailing from 
New York July 18, he arrived in the Eternal City on the 30th, 
and took up his quarters at the Procura of St. Sulpice. He 
was greeted later by 200 Americans, who happened to be there 
on a pilgrimage. 

Pius X received him in audience August i, and for a while 
they discussed the general conditions of the American Church. 
He found the viewpoint of Pius was still that of the ecclesiastic 
rather than the diplomat, in contrast to Leo, with whom he had 
weathered so many storms. The Pontiff sighed for Venice, 
which he felt that he was never more to see. He had not been 
unmindful of the progress of the Church in America, and he 
conveyed to Cardinal Gibbons his compliments and warm ap- 

The Cardinal visited a number of the high dignitaries of 
the Church, and received many callers. He was a guest for a 
short time at the summer home of the American College, 
where he was taken ill with a serious ailment incident to the 
climate, and it was necessary to remove him to Rome for 
treatment. The Pope sent his sympathy, and asked to be con- 
stantly informed of his condition. In a short time he fully 
recovered; and after a rest in Switzerland, where he was the 
guest of Ben^iger, the artist, at Brunnen, on Lake Lucerne, he 
was able to proceed to London, where he preached in West- 


minster Cathedral on the last day of the congress, September 
13, 1908. 

His sermon sounded a note of unity between English and 
American Catholics. "We across the Atlantic claim, as well as 
you," he said, "to be the spiritual children of Gregory, of Au- 
gustine, Patrick, Alban, the venerable Bede, of Anselm and 
Thomas of Canterbury, of Peter and Pius." He recalled that 
his own State of Maryland had been founded by English Cath- 
olics, and that Carroll had been consecrated in Lulworth Castle. 

In the procession on that day it had been intended to carry 
the Host in the streets ; but, fearing disturbances, Premier As- 
quith interposed, and the program was changed. In the main, 
the congress was a notable success ; but the Cardinal could not 
help noting the difference between the attitude toward the 
Church in his own country and that taken even in so enlight- 
ened a nation as England. He was among the guests of honor 
at a garden party given by the Duke of Norfolk, the principal 
Catholic nobleman of England. 

When he heard that Baltimore was planning another recep- 
tion on his return, he hoped to prevent it, and wrote home an 
earnest request that the plans be abandoned ; but so great was 
the popular desire to testify the almost unique esteem in which 
he was held by his neighbors of all religious faiths that, despite 
his own desires, preparations moved forward with redoubled 
energy. He arrived in Baltimore Saturday, October 10, and 
at the depot found himself face to face with a reception com- 
mittee, which included Governor Crothers and his staff, Mayor 
Mahool and the City Councilmen, Charles J. Bonaparte, then 
Attorney-General of the United States, and other prominent 

The Governor, a Methodist, and the Mayor, an active lay- 
man of the Presbyterian Church, welcomed him with laudatory 
speeches. "I am profoundly moved by this expression of 
kindness," he replied; "I have no words to convey the deep 
gratitude that fills my heart. When I learned for the first 


time of this, I wrote back to Baltimore, requesting and direct- 
ing that it be abandoned, as I saw no occasion for it ; but when 
I learned that it came from all the people, and that the Gov- 
ernor of this liberty-loving State was to take part in it, and 
the Mayor of this city, which I love so dearly, I waived all 
personal feelings."* 

He was escorted to the Cathedral by a parade in which 
15,000 persons took part, including 500 from Washington. 
On the portico of the beautiful old building, he stood with 
the executive officers of the State and city and reviewed this 
notable procession, which required nearly an hour to pass. 
Within the edifice, he gave solemn benediction and the papal 

Though a national figure, he had so endeared himself to the 
people of the localities where his labors had been chiefly per- 
formed that they could not restrain their desire to testify to 
the honor in which they held him. The North Carolina Society 
of Baltimore, composed of former residents of the State in 
which he had worked so faithfully as vicar apostolic, presented 
him an engrossed address, conveying warm compliments and 
grateful praise. 

•Baltimore Sun, Oct. 11, 1908. 


Centenary of the Baltimore Cathedral. 

A great demonstration might have been held in the Car- 
dinal's honor, October 3, 1902, the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
his accession to the archbishopric ; but, at his desire, observance 
of the event was postponed to the spring of 1906, in order that 
the centenary of the laying of the Cathedral corner-stone might 
be celebrated at the same time. When this date drew near, it 
was found that he had carefully eliminated his own personality 
from the program. 

Although he had reached the age of 71, he entered with 
characteristic intensity of energy and fertility of ideas into 
the organization of a new demonstration of Catholic progress.. 
He contrived that the event should assume a wider scope than 
a purely ecclesiastical ceremony, and one of the forms it took 
was a condemnation of the rising cult of socialism by the 
Church in America. While he lost few opportunities to praise 
the institutions of his country and to express faith in its people, 
he was constantly warring against some national evil or de- 
nouncing some wrong which might threaten the political or 
social structure of the United States. Socialism was now 
arising as a stronger force in America. It had made great 
progress in Germany, where the Emperor and most of the con- 
federated states of the Empire had enacted into law not a few 
of its principles. It had won converts by the tens of thou- 
sands in France, where it had a strong and aggressive represen- 
tation in the Cabinet and the Chamber of Deputies. Wherever 
men were discontented, its adherents multiplied. 



When labor had struggled for the right of combination, and 
for legislation protecting its just interests, Cardinal Gibbons 
had been its friend and champion; but in socialism he could 
see only danger to those who were most allured by the remedies 
it proposed. In the United States, the party had presented a 
few Presidential candidates, whose support had been relatively 
insignificant. Among the Germans of the Northwest, it was 
growing rapidly, and m Alilwaulvee, where the German popula- 
tion was large, it was soon afterward* able to elect a Mayor. 

Preaching in the Baltimore Cathedral, February 4, 1906, the 
Cardinal declared his own position and that of the Church with 
clearness and force. He began by saying that he had been 
deeply impressed in studying the material w'orld to observe 
that all the works of God were marked with the stamp of 
variety and inequality. The Almighty never casts any two 
creatures in the same mold. "Ascending from the natural to 
the spiritual world, from the order of nature to the order of 
grace," he said, "we know there is not only variety, but that 
there are also grades of distinction among the angels in heaven. 
The angelic hierarchy is composed of nine distinct choirs. 
There are angels and archangels, thrones and dominations, 
principalities and powers, virtues, cherubim and seraphim. 
These angelic hosts ascend in rank, one above the other. One 
order of angels excels in sublimity of intelligence, or in inten- 
sity of love, or in the dignity of the mission assigned to them. 

"And, in like manner, God is unequal in the distribution of 
his graces to mankind. He gives in large measure to one and 
in less measure to another. To one He grants five talents, to 
another He grants two, and to another He gives one talent. 
When the Divine Husbandman hires his laborers to work in 
His vineyard. He recompenses those who labored but one 
hour as much as He does those 'who have borne the bur- 
den of the day and the heat.' The reward is altogether dis- 

* 1910. 


proportioned to the toil. If you complain of God's discrimi- 
nation, Christ will answer you: 'My friend, I do thee no 
wrong. Take what is thine and go thy way. Is it not law- 
ful for me to do what I will? Is thine -eye evil because I 
am good? What claim have you on my justice? Is not all 
that you possess of nature or of grace the gratuitous gift of my 
bounty?' * * * Nevertheless, among God's elect there is 
no jealousy or discontent. Those who enjoy a high grade of 
bliss, do not look with disdain on their inferiors; and those who 
are in a lower grade of felicity do not envy those above them. 
All are happy and contented, and praise the God of bounty for 
his gratuitous mercies." 

The Cardinal went on to say that it was inevitable there 
should be inequality of rank and station and wealth. The 
much-discussed statement in the Declaration of Independence — 
"All men are created equal" — he interpreted to mean that all 
men are subject to the same political and moral laws; that all 
enjoy the same air and rain and sunshine of heaven, and that 
all are equal before the law. He added : 

"The most mischievous and dangerous individual to be met 
with in the community is the demagogue, who is habitually 
sowing broadcast the seeds of discontent among the people. 
He is disseminating the baneful doctrine of socialism, which 
would bring all men down to a dead level, would paralyze in- 
dustry and destroy all healthy competition. * * * He has 
not the capacity to discern that, after all due allowance is made 
for human energy, this varied condition of societv must result 
from a law of life established by an overruling Providence."* 

The heart of every American Catholic swells when he thinks 
of the old Cathedral, where the services in honor of the cen- 
tenary were held. How much more did it mean to Cardinal 
Gibbons, who was almost as much a part of it as its beautiful 
altar rail and its majestic pillars! "What Mecca is to the 
Mohammedan," he once said, "what the temple of Jerusalem 

• Baltimore Sun, February 5, 1906. 


is to the Jew, what St. Peter's basiHca in Rome is to the faith- 
ful of the Church universal, this Cathedral is to the American 

Pius X shared the pride in the coming event, and addressed 
the following letter to the cardinal :* 

"To OUR Beloved Son, James Gibbons, 

"Archbishop of Baltimore, Cardinal Priest of the Title of ^t. Mary, 
"across the Tiber, Pius P. P. X. 

"Beloved son, health and apostolic benediction. 

"When the first archbishop of Baltimore, 100 years ago, laid the 
corner-stone of the Cathedral, he laid, we may truly say, the foundation 
upon which the Church of America was to rise to its full and gloilous 
height. For, whether we consider the ever increasing number of priests 
ordained within its walls, the bishops there consecrated, the national 
councils there celebrated or the various magnificent solemnities or 
ecclesiastical functions which it has witnessed, all have happily found, 
as it were, their home in the Cathedral of Baltimore. 

"Happily, we say, and ever with the promise of better things, as is 
proven by the extension of the hierarchy ; by the growth of the Catholi'- 
population; by the peaceful state of religion, your steadfast union witli 
the See of Rome and by the manifold consolations which our heart has 
gathered from your achievements. Hence, we deem it worthy of our 
highest approval that you propose to commemorate with general rejoic- 
ing so signal an event. We need not tell you with what sentiments of 
good will and of heartfelt interest we share In this celebration. You 
are all aware that we have always most ardently adopted and are now 
equally eager to adopt whatsoever may avail to enhance the honor of 
our religion among the American people. 

"Our eagerness herein Is the greater because we are sure that you 
will respond, with common accord and endeavor, to the invitations 
which we, prompted by the memory of what you have accomplished 
for religion, extend to you on this timely and joyous occasion in urging 
the American people to still greater efforts in behalf of our Catholic 
faith. This exhortation we repeat in all earnestness, knowing full well 
that our words must aim not only at advancing the cause of religion, 
but also at furthering the public weal. Intent, therefore, as you now 
are, upon extolling the sacred memories of your forefathers, and setting 
forth the glories of your faith, we offer you our sincere congratulations 
and bestow upon you the praise that you fully deserve, ooth by your 
zeal in organizing this public celebration and by the habitual attitude 

• Cathedral Archives. 


of mind therein displayed. You manifest, indeed, a temper that we 
ardently desire to see cultivated by all Catholics — a temper, namely, 
which holds within itself strong and full of promise the hope of the 

"Right joyously, then, we express our wishes for the prosperity of your 
churches and the success of this centenary observance. At the same 
time, as a pledge of heavenly graces and a token of our deep affection, 
we impart most lovingly our apostolic benediction to you, the bishops, 
the clergy and the whole American people. 

"Given at St. Teter's, Rome, on the second day of March, 1906, in the 
third year of our pontificate. 

"Pius P. P. X." 

The main celebration took place Sunday, April 29, and was 
marked by one of the most remarkable assemblages of Catholic 
prelates that had taken place in modern times, outside of Rome 
itself. Archbishop Falconio, who had succeeded IMartinelli as 
Papal Delegate; nine other archbishops, fifty-six bishops, four 
abbots and about eight hundred priests assembled at the foun- 
tain head of the mother see. Pontifical mass was celebrated 
by Archbishop Farley, of New York, and Archbishop Ryan 
preached, as he had done at so many ecclesiastical ceremonies 
of the first rank in America. 

Only a short time before, President Roosevelt had made his 
"muck-rake" speech, in which, while denouncing excessive 
criticism of public or semi-public men, he had suggested an in- 
heritance tax as a means of restricting the piling up of enor- 
mous fortunes by private individuals. A few days later Mr. 
Taft, then Secretary of War, had spoken in the same strain, 
and a similar note sounded in the sermon of IMgr. Ryan. The 
eloquent preacher pointed out that there were great evils to be 
corrected. "We justly laud," he said, "the institutions and 
spirit of our country, but indiscriminate praise is no evidence 
of genuine rational patriotism. On the contrary, it is often 
dangerous and holds out false security. * * * Marvelous 
as has been our progress in a single century, there is the greater 
need to preserve what we have gained and to correct where we 
have been deficient. Some have stated, and with a show of 


reason, that our leading, radical fault has been, and is, love of 
money, amounting to national avarice, and our eagerness in 
both the natural and religious order should be directed to neu- 
tralize or, at least, to moderate this tendency. 

"But I can not believe that love of money is the predominant 
fault of the American people. They are too noble and gen- 
erous a people to be a nation of misers. They freely give what 
they freely get, and are often prodigal in their generosity. No, 
I believe that ambition, pride and inordinate independence and 
self-reliance are our most dangerous foes. Humility is becom- 
ing a name for pious weakness, and ambition is no longer a sin. 
The desire to be unknown is considered foolishness. * * * 

"There are three great and increasing evils in our day — 
one affecting the individual; the second, the family, and the 
third, the state. I mean suicide, divorce and communism, 
leading to anarchy." 

After the mass, the Cardinal made a brief address on the 
significance of the growth and progress of the Catholic faith. 
He thanked the prelates for their attendance, and expressed the 
joy they felt at the position the Church had attained after 
more than a century of struggle. 

Archbishop Messmer, of Milwaukee, celebrated pontifical 
vespers, and Archbishop Glennon, the gifted head of the Arch- 
diocese of St. Louis, preached. He dwelt even more strongly 
upon the Church's attitude toward socialism, which he had a 
better opportunity to observe in his Western province. 

"The social fabric," he said, "appears today to be in immi- 
nent danger, because old principles are ignored and old founda- 
tions are attacked. What was held as law, is regarded now as 
injustice; what was held as government, is now deemed tyr- 
anny. It were folly to deny that the shadow of socialism is 
hanging over the land, and, while learned men are busy point- 
ing out its unreasonableness, its injustice, its lack of feasibility, 
the shadow deepens. And yet we fear not. The Church has a 
message for these coming years. Standing by that cross, the 


Church would teach an equality that mere forms of poverty 
and wealth could not affect." 

The usual dinner at St. Mary's, characteristic of ecclesias- 
tical ceremonies in Baltimore, followed. Cardinal Gibbons, as 
toastmaster, called first on the Papal Delegate, who spoke of 
the Pontiff's gratification at the extraordinary progress of the 
Church in America, where there were now 105 archbishops 
and bishops, 92 dioceses, and a Catholic population of more 
than 12,000,000, although a century before there was but one 
bishop. The Papal Delegate said he felt proud in offering 
best wishes and congratulations to Cardinal Gibbons, and ex- 
pressed the hope that he might long be spared to carry on his 

The next evening, Monday, there was a reception to the 
hierarchy by Cardinal Gibbons and the clergy of the archdio- 
cese at the Lyric, one of the largest public halls in the State. 
Governor Warfield and Mayor Timanus were there, and joined 
heartily in the exercises. The principal address was made by 
Bishop Donahue, of Wheeling, who had spent years in the 
Cardinal's household, and who spoke from intimate acquain- 
tance when he said : 

"His life and achievements have shed undying luster on the 
Church for all time. He is a prince of the Church; he is also 
one of the plainest and most democratic citizens of the land. 
His mind can rise to and grasp momentous questions of Church 
and state, yet with children he can be a child in playfulness and 
glee. With the wise, he is wise; with the simple, simple; 
simple in his tastes and habits of life, simple in demeanor, and 
a friend to the poor and helpless, I doubt if ever churchman 
trod the soil of America who has endeared himself to more 


Sympathy with French Catholics. 

While the American CathoHcs were aggressively pursuing 
their mission, pausing now and then to take note of the 
Church's advancement, upholding the institutions of the coun- 
try in one breath and condemning in another influences antago- 
nistic to religion and social peace, the "eldest daughter of the 
Church" was passing through a period of bitter trial. They 
could not, as churchmen, forget the ardent and fruitful help 
of France any more than, as citizens, they could forget Lafay- 
ette and Rochambeau, In the early days the Jesuits from the 
banks of the Seine and the Loire had carried the cross up and 
down the New World, and as civilization followed savagery, 
and the cross, no longer a wanderer, pointed to heaven from 
the tops of thousands of churches, Cheverus and Flaget and 
Dubois and Dubourg, and many others, as bishops or clergy, 
had helped to lay the foundations of religion in the youthful 
nation. Now the Church of France was in tears — spurned by 
the Government of which she had been a partner, and despoiled 
at the point of the bayonet. The passage of the "Law of Asso- 
ciations" and subsequent agitation and legislation, ending in 
the rupture of the Concordat, had excited deep feelings on the 
part of Catholics in the United States. 

At the spring meeting of the archbishops, held at the Catholic 
University a short time before the celebration of the centenary, 
they had decided to address a letter to the French Catholics, 
and requested Cardinal Gibbons to prepare it. He drew it up 
while the great assemblage of prelates was in Baltimore, and 
sent it to Cardinal Richard, Archbishop of Paris, as the prin- 
cipal representative of the Church in France. 



"We would profit," he wrote, "by the presence of so many 
distinguished prelates to offer to our brethren in France, not so 
happily circumstanced as we, an unequivocal testimony of our 
sympathy and our sincere wishes for the welfare of the Church 
of France. * * * \Ye are compelled to assure you of the 
keen regret which we feel at sight of the bitter persecution to 
which the Church of France is subjected — a persecution which, 
particularly during the last quarter of a century, has been 
marked by exceptional and vexatious legislation. To crown 
these irritating enactments, the agreement which for a cen- 
tury bound the eldest daughter of the Church to Rome, has 
been, contrary to all the requirements of justice and honor, 
ruthlessly dissolved. The bloody conflicts immediately con- 
sequent upon the first application of this notorious law sanc- 
tioning the separation of Church and state, so recently and 
peremptorily condemned by Pius X, do but forecast disturb- 
ances of a more serious character. However, such misfortunes 
are bound to enlist in your behalf the sympathy and prayers of 
all true children of the Church. * * * 

"It is difficult for minds accustomed to the complete liberty 
which we enjoy in this country to understand how a civilized 
government can, in the name of liberty, subject an entire Chris- 
tian people to the yoke of official atheism. Here, on the con- 
trary, our rulers recognize that religion is necessary for the 
prosperity of the nation. While they arrogate to themselves 
no authority in religious matters, thanks to the kindly feeling 
which animates them, vexed questions are amicably settled. 
To illustrate by a single example, far from enacting legislation 
hostile to the Church, disputes involving ecclesiastical property 
are decided by the civil courts, in conformity with her recog- 
nized laws. If the Church has the right of protection because 
she is the truth, her progress requires only liberty worthy of 
the name. This we have fully and completely. We sincerely 


hope the Church of France may soon enjoy the same ad- 

Cardinal Richard expressed his gratitude in a formal reply, 
bewailing the woes of his country and expressing his reliance 
on God for a happy issue from their afflictions. 

The struggle proceeded. The elements in control of the 
French Government were bent on the execution of their pro- 
gram, and the wishes of American Catholics were of no more 
avail than of those in Europe. In a public statement,! Car- 
dinal Gibbons called attention forcibly to some of the excesses 
which were being committed. He declared that hatred of re- 
ligion, rather than love of the republic, actuated the French 

"In France," he said, "the Jacobin party is not dead. Its 
spirit is as live today as it was in the last decade of the 
eighteenth century. Its adherents hate God; they hate Christ; 
they hate His religion as much as ever their fathers hated 

He quoted M. Briand, Minister of Public Worship and after- 
ward Premier, who said in an address to teachers : 

"The time has come to root up from the minds of French 
children the ancient faith, which has served its purpose, and 
replace it with the light of free thought. It is time to get rid 
of the Christian idea. We have hunted Jesus Christ out of 
the army, the navy, the schools, the hospitals, the asylums 
for the insane and orphans, and the law courts, and now we 
must hunt Him out of the state altogether." 

"What," asked the Cardinal, "would we Americans say if a 
Cabinet officer were to propose this as the great aim of his ad- 

He pointed out the contrast between the attitude of the 
French Government toward Church property rights and that 
of the courts of the United States in the Philippines, where the 

* Cathedral Archives. 

t Baltimore Sun, Dec. 14, 1906. 


legal claims of the Church had been fully respected and a set- 
tlement effected to the satisfaction of both parties. 

The Pope sent to the Cardinal an expression of his great 
satisfaction with the strong presentation of the case. The 
ardor of even the French Cabinet was somewhat cooled by this 
dignified declaration. Premier Clemenceau felt its vigor to 
such an extent that he took occasion to declare that M. Briand 
had not delivered the statement attributed to him "as minister," 
although not denying that the statement had been made. Car- 
dinal Gibbons promptly cited his authority in the London 
Saturday Reviezv* and saw no occasion to modify anything he 
had said. His declaration led to many public protests in this 
country, the effects of which were felt in Europe. 

• Bevieto, August 18 and 25, 1906. 

Events of Later Years. 

On the morning of February 7, 1904, Cardinal Gibbons, 
before preaching his customary sermon in the Cathedral on the 
first Sunday in the month, had noticed dense smoke moving 
from southwest to northeast in the business district of Balti- 
more, but saw nothing to indicate that it proceeded from more 
than an ordinary fire. The topic he had chosen for his dis- 
course was "The Uses of Adversity." He enumerated some 
of the reverses of fortune to which human beings are subject, 
such as a fall from opulence to poverty, and a sudden visitation 
of Providence. 

As he left the church after service, he found the streets 
thronged with excited people and resounding with the clang 
of fire engines. A great blaze was rising in fury from 
some of the most costly warehouses in the city, and the fact 
flashed upon him that while he had been performing his min- 
istrations in the temple, the fire he had observed several hours 
before must have been spreading with amazing violence. Large 
embers began to fall on the Cathedral grounds, and an ash tree 
in the yard, naked of foliage in the winter wind, caught fire. 

All that day and the next the conflagration raged, causing 
a loss estimated at $125,000,000, and visiting upon the Car- 
dinal's beloved Baltimore one of the most appalling blows 
which an American city ever sustained. It reached within two 
squares of his residence, and would have swept away both it 
and the Cathedral, had not the wind changed the pathway of 
destruction eastward instead of northward. 

He had arranged to start for New Orleans on a visit to his 
brother Sunday evening, and his train was one of the last to 



leave before railroad communication was suspended by the 
calamity. The Cardinal did not realize the full extent of the 
disaster until he reached New Orleans, when he was informed 
of it by telegraph. The treasured archives of the diocese, 
from Carroll's time down, were stored in his residence, and 
would have been destroyed, had the flames reached the house. 
His predecessors had been content to leave them in loose heaps 
or in barrels, but he had taken pains to have them carefully 
sorted out and indexed in a manner worthy of their value. 
The lesson of the great fire was not forgotten; and, by his 
direction, the archives were removed to a space beneath the 
Cathedral, where they would be comparatively safe from a 
similar disaster in future. 

With the struggle of his neighbors upward from the ruins of 
their prosperity, he sympathized keenly. Not a few members 
of the Cathedral congregation were among those most sorely 
stricken, and he warmly commended them for the courageous 
spirit in which they met their affliction. Prominent Catholics 
were among the leaders in averting panic, restoring the normal 
operations of business and starting the community on an 
ambitious program of civic improvement which was charac- 
teristic of American spirit. 

In a sermon, February 5, 1905, when hundreds of churches 
in the city rang with thanksgiving for the marvelous progress 
made in the year following the fire, he praised the fortitude of 
the people. When fears were entertained for the passage of a 
municipal loan of $10,000,000 to begin the construction of a 
sewerage system, he wrote a letter of commendation to the 
committee which was conducting a popular campaign in its 
favor, and its adoption soon followed. 

His life was not in danger at any time from the great fire; 
but it was seriously imperiled by a driving accident in Druid 
Hill Park, Baltimore, July 30, 1891. It was often said of him 
that he was the only archbishop in the world who kept no pri- 
vate livery. When he was elevated to the cardinalate, the 


clergy of the diocese presented to him a two-seated brougham, 
which he kept at the pubHc stable of James Martin, near his 
residence. If occasion required a drive, he used horses hired 
from Martin. He much preferred walking in winter and in 
the bracing days of spring and autumn; but in summer he 
sometimes took the air in the park, with Martin on the box of 
his carriage. On this occasion Martin was driving homeward, 
when the pole of the brougham broke and the horses began a 
mad flight. The driver was able to keep them in the road, but 
could not check them. After they had gone fully three-quar- 
ters of a mile, they approached a large stone gateway, which 
then stood at the Mount Royal entrance to the park, and Mar- 
tin ran them against it, stopping their flight and severely injur- 
ing them by the impact. The Cardinal, who had remained 
calm, though he fully realized how narrow was his escape, 
alighted unhurt, and was taken to his residence in a passing 

As a mark of his gratitude, he presented to Martin one of 
two large gold medals which he had received from Leo XIII, 
bearing on one side a bas-relief portrait of the Pontiff, and on 
the other an interior view of the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. 
He had th' 5e words engraved on the medal, in addition to the 
previous inscriotion : "Presented to James Martin, Jr., bv his 
Eminence, Cardinal Gibbons, August i, 1891, as a recognition 
of his courage and self-possession displayed July 30, 1891." 

For many years Martin continued to drive him, and he 
always felt safe in the hands of this intrepid and devoted man. 

A man whose labors were so incessant and arduous must 
have at least brief intervals of rest. The Sisters of Notre 
Dame College, in a suburb of Baltimore, kept a room always 
ready, to which the Cardinal used sometimes to retire for a day 
or two, to enjoy the refreshment of an invigorating atmos- 
phere and a view of rolling lawns and loftv trees. 

The ideal rural homes of T. Herbert Shriver and B. Frank 
Shriver, brothers, seven miles from Westminster, Md., also be- 


came favorite places of retreat for him. He is sometimes 
the guest of one of these a week or more at a time, obtain- 
ing complete relief from the burdens which weigh upon him 
so heavily in Baltimore. The life of these famihes is of a type 
which is seen in Maryland at its best — that of the American 
Catholic country gentlefolk. Its original was the rural gentry 
of England, unanimously Catholic until the time of Henry 
VIII, and in no small part adhering to the same faith through 
all the periods of persecution which followed. Of this stock 
were the Calverts, the founders of Maryland. Their charter, 
granted by Charles I, gave them power to create titles of no- 
bility and to authorize baronial courts,* as in the English pala- 
tine county of Durham. They themselves were rural barons, 
and in the earlier stages of their project they looked to a repro- 
duction of their own social life in the colony which they 
planted. The unexpectedly independent course of the early 
assemblies at St. Mary's interfered with a full realization of 
this project; but it was true that, despite the violence of the 
Cromwellian period and the grievous discriminations which fol- 
lowed the accession of William III, Maryland was the only 
colony in English-speaking America in which wealthy Cath- 
olics founded large estates. f These estates were most numer- 
ous in Southern Maryland, in the region adjacent to St. Mary's, 
where many of them still exist. The Catholic planter lived in 
the midst of his numerous acres, cultivated by negroes, and 
was no less a spiritual than a material mentor of his depend- 
ents. Not infrequently he had his own chapel, where mass 
was regularly celebrated. 

The blacks were instructed and trained in the practices of 
the Catholic faith, whose ministrations contributed to securing 
good treatment for them and making them contented with 
their lot. It was a common saying that a "Catholic negro is 
a good negro." The confession and penances, as well as the 

• Charter of Maryland, Clause 19, Scharf, Vol. 1, pp. 58, 59. 

t Burton, Life and Times of Eistiop Challoner, Vol. II, pp. 128, 130. 


sacred character which they wilHngly acknowledged in the 
priesthood, exercised a powerful and salutary restraining in- 
fluence upon their elemental impulses. While the Church in 
no sense sympathized with slavery as an institution, submis- 
sion to constituted authority was taught to the negro, and the 
responsibility of exercising authority with mildness and jus- 
tice was impressed on the master. 

At the rural churches, where high mass was celebrated on 
certain Sundays, it was a picturesque sight to see the caval- 
cade of gentry assemble for the general interchange of social 
amenities, as well as public worship. The emancipation of the 
slaves did not greatly change social conditions, though it re- 
duced the affluence of the masters. The home of the Catholic 
landowner continued to have for the dependents in the com- 
munity much the same aspect as before. 

The pious family life of the Shrivers has been an inspiration 
to the cardinal, and the attentions which they bestow on him 
make him always at ease when he is their guest. Of simple 
and unostentatious habits himself, and possessing a pronounced 
social instinct, he likes to feel at home in such a circle. There 
is a small chapel at the home of T. Herbert Shriver, where the 
cardinal says mass every morning when he is there. He writes 
much, staying in his room a great deal, but takes walks and 
always his after-dinner nap, besides pitching quoits occasion- 
ally. He excels at this latter sport, being considered one of 
the best players in Maryland. Sometimes he goes to West- 
minster by train, but not infrequently his host carries him there 
in an automobile, of which he is undeniably fond, though his 
habit of rigidly restricting his personal expenses prevents him 
from owning one for his private use. 

For a number of years one of his favorite resorts for a 
brief rest in summer was Southampton, Long Island, where 
he was the guest of clerical friends. It is a beautiful sea- 
side town, and his presence there usually attracted a num- 
ber of visitors from New York and Brooklyn, who attended 


mass in the local church when the Cardinal was present. 
There were pleasant walks and drives near by, and the Car- 
dinal found the air peculiarly conducive to rest and sleep. 

Once a year, just before the beginning of Lent, he has been 
accustomed to spend a week in New Orleans with his family. 
When the centenary anniversary of that see, the second in the 
United States, was observed, in 1893, he took a prominent 
part in the exercises. The Archbishop of New Orleans at 
that time was Most Rev. Francis Jannsens, his former vicar- 
general in Richmond. These pleasant excursions to his for- 
mer home serve to prepare him for the rigors which he habit- 
ually practices during the penitential season. 

The exalted character of his office has caused him to be re- 
garded with awe at not a few places which he has visited. A 
story is told of one of his episcopal trips, in the course of which 
he took breakfast at the home of one of the principal resi- 
dents, who may be called Mr. Jones. Neither host nor host- 
ess appeared at the table, and when he inquired where they 
were, the butler reluctantly acknowledged that they were too 
diffident to eat in the presence of a cardinal. The eminent 
guest sent his companion, who may be designated as Mr. 
Brown, to make inquiries. 

"What," exclaimed the host, "take breakfast with the Car- 
dinal? No, sir ! I wouldn't know what to do nor what to say. 
No, sir! I couldn't eat a mouthful. I wouldn't know whether 
I was standing on my head or my heels. No, sir !" 

The host was told that the Cardinal was one of the gentlest 
and most unassuming of men ; that he had been complimenting 
the cooking, and that it was rude to refuse to eat with him. 
The only answer was, "No, sir!" 

"You don't mind me," said Mr. Brown ; "why would you be 
embarrassed by the Cardinal?" 

"Well, Mr. Brown," he replied, "you're only an editor, and 
I'm used to editors ; but there's only one cardinal in this coun- 


try, and I wouldn't know how to act in his company. No, 

"Well, perhaps Mrs. Jones might like to" 

"No, sir, Mrs. Jones wouldn't. She's just as upset as I am." 

"What shall I tell his Eminence?" 

"Make my excuses; tell him I feel honored at having him 
as my guest; beg him to make himself at home, and thank him 
for inviting me to sit at the table with him; but tell him I 
couldn't do it. No, sir!" 

When Mr. Brown related what had happened, the Cardinal 
was distressed at his host's unnecessary agitation, but made the! 
best of the situation. 

After breakfast, a church was dedicated, and the Cardinal 
held an informal reception. The local pastor took him back 
to dinner at Mr. Jones'. The meal was on the table, smoking 
hot, but neither host nor hostess appeared. After the butler 
had served dinner, Mr. Brown remembered that the Cardinal 
was in the habit of taking a nap at that time of day, and went 
to hunt Mr. Jones. The host was found marching up and 
down on the far side of the garden. Mr. Brown thanked him 
for a very good dinner, and then said : 

"Mr. Jones, the Cardinal would like to take a nap." 

"Oh! I have no bed good enough for a cardinal, Mr. 

"The bed I occupied last night would do tip-top." 

"Would it, Mr. Brown? Well, how shall we get him up 

"You go up with him and show him the way." 

"Me? No, sir! I wouldn't do that." 

"Well, go and see if the bed has been made up; then come 
down and tell me, and I'll show him the way." 

"Oh! yes, I'll do that gladly, Mr. Brown." 

The host ascended to the bedroom and came down to report 
that the room was in perfect order. Then he darted out the 


back door and into the garden again, as if an ogre were after 

The Cardinal had his nap. As he left the house in the 
afternoon, there was no one to bid him good-by, the whole 
family being evidently in hiding. 

This was an extreme instance, but experiences not greatly 
different have been far from uncommon to the cardinal. On one 
occasion a husband and wife, the latter carrying a baby, applied 
at his residence for the privilege of making confession to a 
priest. The porter informed them that the priests w^re rest- 
ing, but one of them would be downstairs in a short time. 
The man persisted, saying that he lived in the suburbs, must 
return home before it grew late, and could not delay. When 
the porter returned from another trip to the private apart- 
ments, he said that the Cardinal had volunteered and would 
hear the confessions. This plunged the couple in a panic. 

"I'll not go to the Cardinal," said the husband. 

'Neither will I," said the wife; "why did you get him?" 

"The priests are all resting, and he offered to come down," 
answered the porter. 

Before the couple could withdraw, the Cardinal appeared. 
Both of them were so overcome that their embarrassment was 
painful. The Cardinal simply bowed his head, and neither 
by word nor act added to the confusion of the penitents. At 
first they forgot what to say, but at length managed to make 
their confession and left. 

"I'm so glad that I went to confession to the Cardinal," said 
the wife before departing. "It is a great honor, and he was 
so kind and gentle. Besides, I feel so comforted by the in- 
struction and advice he gave me. He made me see so clearly, 
and is one of the best confessors I ever met. I just thought I 
couldn't go to him, but now I wouldn't take anything for the 
recollection of this day."* 

• These anecdotes, by Mr. L. W. ReUly, appeared in the Catholic Union and 
Times, of Buffalo, May 13, 1897. 


The. exalted piety of the Cardinal's own Hfe finds a favorite 
mode of expression in Newman's wonderful hymn, "Lead, 
Kindly Light," and many are the times when he directs his 
choir leader at the Cathedral to render its beautiful words and 
music. He never seems to hear it often enough, and has fre- 
quently said that he regards it as an almost perfect expression of 
real piety, an epitome of the story of the soul from the cradle to 
the grave. A life-like engraving of Newman stands on an 
easel in his parlor, and he is fond of recounting the inspiring 
circumstances under which the hymn was written. 

His familiarity with the Bible is extraordinary, and is, per- 
haps, not surpassed by that of any active minister of any de- 
nomination the world over. He knows it so well that he can 
clothe his every-day thoughts in Scriptural language, and not 
infrequently does so. He is never without a copy of the New 
Testament in his pocket. On several occasion when a Bible 
has been needed in a company of priests or laymen, and no one 
else could produce it, he was able to supply it. 

His habitual tact enables him to conduct himself admirably 
in an assemblage of Protestants. On one occasion he and 
Bishop Paret, of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Mary- 
land, who remained good friends, despfte the fact that they 
had publicly taken opposite attitudes on the school question, 
were invited togethei to a public ceremony in Baltimore. When 
the procession was about to start, Bishop Paret said : 

"Your Eminence, it is the custom in our church for the in- 
ferior to precede the superior, and, if it meets your approval, I 
will go first." 

The Cardinal responded : "My dear brother, we will walk 
together;" and in that manner they proceeded to the place 
where the exercises were to be held. 

A striking instance of the Cardinal's liberality of view was 
given in January, 1906, when the Baltimore committee of the 
Prohibition party arranged a meeting to be addressed by W. H. 


Berry, State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, who had recently been 
triumphantly elected after a struggle against political corrup- 
tion in that State. The Cardinal promptly accepted an invita- 
tion to serve as a vice-president of the meeting. The commit- 
tee had intended to hold the meeting in a public hall, but later 
changed the place to Eutaw Street Methodist Episcopal 
Church, one of the historic edifices of Methodism in America, 
identified v^ith memories of Francis Asbury. When it was 
decided to make this change, the committee sent a letter to 
the Cardinal, giving him notice of it, and asking if, under the 
circumstances, he wished to have his name withdrawn. 

"The holding of a civic meeting in a Protestant church," he 
replied, "does not excite any religious scruples in me. I gladly 
allow the use of my name as one of the vice-presidents of the 

When the Cardinal appeared in the church, he was vigor- 
ously applauded. He expressed to Mr. Berry his cordial ap- 
probation of the struggle against ring politics. 

Any warfare against private and political corruption waged 
by an awakened public opinion appealed to him powerfully. In 
a sermon at the Cathedral, November 5, 1905, he sounded an 
emphatic warning against "graft" in public office and dishonest 
methods in business, which he attributed, in part, to the Ameri- 
can weakness for living beyond one's means. 

The position which the Cardinal occupies in the hearts of his 
Protestant neighbors was further illustrated at a mass-meeting 
in Brown Memorial Church, Baltimore, December 14, 1906, 
called to express disapproval of the policy of Leopold, King of 
Belgium, in the Congo State. The meeting was addressed by 
Rev. H. Grattan Guinness, a leader in the Congo reform move- 
ment in Great Britain, who was traveling in the United States 
for the purpose of inducing the Washington Government to join 
England in intervention in the Congo. As a rule. Catholics de- 
fended the policy of King Leopold, reflecting the views of the 


large number of missionaries of their faith who were actively 
laboring among the natives. Cardinal Gibbons on several oc- 
casions had expressed similar opinions, though he was not 
active in the controversy, and on no occasion tried to interfere. 
In a letter to Rev. Edward Everett Hale, in October, 1904, ex- 
pressing his regrets at inability to attend a peace conference in 
Boston, he wrote : 

"Had I been able to be present, I would have made it my 
duty to say a word in vindication of the policy of Belgium in 
the Congo State. The representatives of the different powers 
at the Berlin Conference were compelled to express their admi- 
ration and praise of the noble ideals of the founder of the 
Congo State and the splendid results achieved through his hu- 
mane policy." 

Mr. Guinness devoted most of his address to a description of 
conditions in the Congo from his point of view; but at the 
close he said : 

"The United States and Britain long ere this would have 
gotten together and put an end to the atrocities in the Congo, 
but for one man in this country. The one strong hand that 
has been keeping this thing going is none other than that of 
Cardinal Gibbons." 

In some localities such a statement might have passed unno- 
ticed ; but in this Baltimore church there was commotion in an 
instant. Rev. John T. Stone, pastor of Brown Memorial, and 
Rev. Wilbur F. Sheridan, pastor of Mt. Vernon Place Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, one of the leading congregations of 
that denomination in the city, were both on their feet at once. 
Mr. Sheridan spoke first, saying : 

"Pardon me, but I entertain a profound regard for Cardinal 
Gibbons, whom I admire for his catholicity of view. I can 
not think that such can be the case." 

Mr. Stone remarked earnestly that he greatly deplored the 
words of the speaker. 


Mr. Guinness seemed dumfounded, but there was abundant 
evidence that the two Protestant ministers were expressing the 
emphatic view of practically all who were present. At the re- 
quest of Mr. Stone, the English speaker modified his statement 
almost immediately from the platform, and left the church 
with a new opinion of the regard in which Cardinal Gibbons is 
held in his home city. 

Perhaps the most striking manner in which the esteem of 
the Cardinal's neighbors is shown is in the receptions which he 
customarily holds after high mass on the first Sunday of each 
New Year. Not to have attended the Cardinal's reception is 
almost a mark of reproach in Baltimore. The Mayor and liv- 
ing ex-Mayors of the city are almost always there, and not in- 
frequently the Governor. Protestants mingle with Catholics in 
the great crowd which stretches far along Charles street, all 
eager to shake the hand of Baltimore's foremost citizen and to 
receive the cheerful words and smile with which he invariably 
greets his callers. Mothers bring their children, whom he 
knows by name no less than the prominent men who throng 
his residence on such occasions. 

His ready wit, flashing suddenly at intervals, keeps everyone 
in good humor ; and even in later years he has been able to pre- 
serve the buoyancy of his spirits for hours while the long line 
of callers is passing. Now and then he pauses to tell a story or 
to exchange a reminiscence. The whole atmosphere is neigh- 
borly and democratic, though complete decorum prevails. 

It would be impossible for him to shake hands with all who 
come, and hundreds, wishing to avoid fatiguing the distin- 
guished host, are in the habit of leaving their cards and then 
retiring. Strangers who occasionally attend these affairs are 
amazed at the demonstration of complete respect and warm 
affection on the part of the people, without regard to religious 
belief, for one whom they esteem above all a man as much as 
a churchman, catholic in the broad sense of the term. 


That part of Charles street where the Cardinal's residence 
stands has fallen on evil days. Mansions once occupied by the 
scions of colonial aristocracy and by leaders in the gay world 
of wealth and fashion are now given over to trade, preserving 
only their quaint architecture as a reminder of the glory that 
was once theirs. Almost alone of all its neighbors, the Cardi- 
nal's residence stands in the dignified elegance of other days. 
It is still a favorite object of interest to visitors; and to hun- 
dreds of Baltimoreans who walk past it from their uptown 
homes to the center of the city, it is a landmark. In front of 
it are flower beds, which blaze with beauty every spring and 
summer, when the people of the city pause at the iron railing to 
stand a few moments watching what they have long since 
learned to call "the Cardinal's tulips." The flowers are usually 
of diflferent kinds and colors, but often there is a bed of brilliant 
scarlet tulips, which matches the color of the Cardinal's robes 
of state. 

Here in dignity and simplicity, the Cardinal has lived since 
1877. It has been workshop as well as home, for he is always 
busy. His accomplishments, when considered collectively, are 
extraordinary. Surprise is often expressed by those who note 
the comparative frailty of his physique, that he has been able to 
endure such great labors; but to those who know him best, 
there is no secret about it. His capacity for sustained effort 
is due to regularity and simplicity of life, to moderation and 
order. He has never been rpbust, though organically sound. 
The permanent impairment of his digestion by privations and 
fatigues in early life left an heritage which constantly admon- 
ished him to be careful, and he did not fail to heed the warning. 
When a student at St. Mary's Seminary, the future Cardinal 
and Father Dissez, his professor of philosophy, were consid- 
ered so weak that they could not hope for more than a few 
years of life. Yet Father Dissez lived to celebrate his fiftieth 
anniversary as a teacher, and nearly all his companions, except 
the Cardinal, have long since died. 


The Cardinal has understood almost perfectly how to adapt 
himself to a system which enables him to draw upon his physi- 
cal strength at the maximum without impairing its capacity 
for the future. He exemplifies the Greek motto, ''Nothing 
too much." Rising punctually at six o'clock, he celebrates 
mass, and eats a light breakfast, dietically adapted to what ex- 
perience has shown him he can assimilate with benefit. After 
a morning of hard work, he takes dinner sparingly; and then 
comes his nap, which refreshes him for additional hours of 
activity. His walk in the afternoon is never neglected, except 
from necessity. Usually it is about two miles long, one of his 
favorite routes being out Charles street to North avenue, a 
former boundary line of the city, and back to his residence; 
but sometimes he goes much further. After supper, he reads, 
writes, and receives a few callers in his study, where, sur- 
rounded by books and with a cheerful fire burning in an 
open grate in winter, he seems most at ease. No matter what 
the circumstances, he stops everything and retires punctually 
at ten o'clock every night. He leaves banquets and social en- 
tertainments at an early hour, that nothing may disturb his reg- 
ularity of habit. If not able to sleep, he derives benefit from 
reclining in complete mental repose. He knows how to avoid 
extreme solicitude for the morrow, and is able to throw off 
his many cares when the time comes to do so. 

His digestion is a barometer of his general health; any 
weakness is noticeable there, and receives prompt attention. 
He takes little medicine, believing that the American people are 
in the habit of using too many drugs, and wishing to avoid that 
failing himself. He consults his doctor only when necessary; 
he is his own best physician. 

His habit of cheerfulness undoubtedly contributes much to 
sustaining him through his labors. One of the best of conver- 
sationalists, he possesses a rare fund of anecdote, which he re- 
lates in a manner becoming the time and place. His skill as a 
story-teller, fortified by the great resources of his experience. 


makes him one of the most interesting of companions. His 
sense of humor is keen, and his knowledge of human nature 
wonderful. He knows how to adapt himself to every person, 
from the infant to the patriarch. On a social occasion, he 
shines. He is fond of company, and not infrequently accepts 
an invitation to dine and spend the evening with a personal 

Although a moderate user of cigars in later life, he did not 
smoke until after he had passed thirty, and he did not always 
enjoy it even after he began. He sometimes said that he used 
tobacco in order to be sociable; because he was frequently 
thrown in gatherings where everybody else smoked, and he 
never wished to appear constrained in any assemblage. As 
conspicuously as any other American of modern times, he ex- 
emplifies the saying of St. Paul: "All things to all men." He 
is ''suaviter in modo, fortiter in re." 

He has never attended a theatrical performance, though not 
infrequently actors and actresses of the Catholic faith visit him 
at the archiepiscopal residence. While he recognizes that some 
plays may be good, in fact beneficial to the moral nature as 
well as entertaining, yet he regards so many of them as evil 
in their effects on the mind that he could never bring himself 
to take the chance. 

He was well acquainted with William J. Florence, Mary 
Anderson, and a number of other leading stage folk, to whom 
he showed the utmost kindness when opportunity permitted. 
While he was Vicar of North Carolina, Edwin Forest played 
in Wilmington, and sent a member of his company to invite 
the Bishop to occupy a box at the performance. The emis- 
sary was, perhaps, not well chosen, for this is the way he ex- 
pressed himself: 

"Bishop, it is a question mooted among moralists as to 
whether the stage, the press or the pulpit is the greatest force 
for the advancement of religious and moral ideas. As a 


member of the theatrical profession, I hesitate to express my 

The Bishop dechned, with thanks, the invitation which wau 

He regarded Mary Anderson (Mrs. Navarro) as a model 
of what a woman on the stage should be, and she in turn was 
devoted to him. After she abandoned a theatrical career and 
took up her residence in England, she esteemed it an honor to 
visit him whenever his presence in that country made it pos- 

Even after the establishment of the legation at Washington, 
the Cardinal's position as primate of the American Church and 
the presiding officer at meetings of the archbishops, made it nec' 
■essary that much of the correspondence with Rome should 
continue to center in him. His mail is extensive and varied, 
embracing not only the affairs of the Church, but the multitude 
of subjects about which a man of prominence would naturally 
be addressed. Non-Catholic ministers write to him for advice. 
Reformers seek his approval and aid. His well-known gen- 
erosity leads to many appeals for help of all sorts; and, like 
other Americans of eminence, he receives many "crank" letters. 

Every Christmas he is accustomed to send to each of his 
fellow-cardinals and the Catholic sovereigns of Europe letters 
wishing them prosperity and offering prayers in their behalf. 
In later years, these letters have been addressed to the Emperor 
of Austria, the kings of Spain, Belgium and Saxony, and the 
Prince Regent of Bavaria. 

He has been in frequent correspondence with all the later 
American Presidents, as well as with many bureau and Cabinet 
officers. Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft 
have been, in turn, his warm friends, and have owed not a little 
to the sound advice which they sought from him. 

He has had his share of afflictions, and some of these have 
weighed upon him grievously. One of his heaviest blows in 
later years was. the f.iilure in business of Thomas E. Wagga- 


man, treasurer of the Catholic University, as a result of which 
$850,000 of its investments were temporarily lost and never 
fully regained. He was almost overwhelmed by this at first; 
but threw all his strength into a determined effort to recover 
for the university what it had lost. Large contributions were 
sent to him by Protestants as well as Catholics, including not a 
few from men prominent in public life, who had learned to 
admire him, and to whom the pathetic aspect of his loss 
strongly appealed. The Knights of Columbus gave $50,000 
to found a chair of American history, which the cardinal ac- 
cepted in 1904. He was able to see the university again in the 
full tide of progress, and he has not ceased to regard it as the 
favorite project of his life. 

Another misfortune which almost crushed him was the dis- 
covery that one of his priests, the pastor of a small congrega- 
tion in Baltimore, had overwhelmed himself in speculation 
with debts amounting to $130,000. This priest had felt an 
ambition to erect a new church for his people, and, realizing 
that in their poverty they would be unable to pay for it, he con- 
ceived the idea of embarking in financial ventures with a view 
of raising the money through what he vainly supposed to be his 
own skill in business. He paid one debt by creating another 
until, finally, the extent of his operations became known to the 
Cardinal* He was at once removed from his pastorate and 
sent to a sanatorium, for the mania on the subject of specula- 
tion which he developed was pronounced by medical opinion 
to be a form of insanity. The Cardinal pledged himself to 
pay every dollar which the priest owed, although he was 
not legally bound to do so, and in less than six months was 
able to secure enough help to accomplish it. He admitted 
not an atom of excuse for anything which the priest had done, 
and denounced it unsparingly. The reproach which he feared 
would be brought upon the Church, he felt so keenly that it 

• March, 1909. 


made him ill. It was a source of great satisfaction to him 
that no one lost through the priest's unfortunate delusion. 

The death of Very Rev. A. L. Magnien, superior of St. 
Mary's Seminary, in December, 1902, affected him greatly. 
Dr. Magnien was one of the best types of the French priest and 
professor. For more than a quarter of a century he exercised 
a deep influence on the Church in America ; and was the Car- 
dinal's constant companion and adviser. The Cardinal wrote 
the preface for a printed memorial volume, in which he thus 
expressed his estimate of Father Magnien's value: 

"For five and twenty years I was associated with Dr. Mag- 
nien by the ties of unbroken friendship and of almost daily 
intercourse. * * * He had the happy faculty of grasping 
the salient points of a question with intuitive vision. His judg- 
ment of men and measures was rarely at fault. He was in the 
habit of giving me his estimate of the intellectual and moral 
standards and characteristic traits of the newly ordained 
priests ; he would even foreshadow their future careers as de- 
veloped in the labors of the ministry. The subsequent lives of 
these clergymen usually verified the forecast of the sagacious 
observer. * * * j h^d been so much accustomed to con- 
sult the venerableAbbe on important questions and to lean upon 
him in every emergency, that his death is a rude shock to me, 
and I feel as if I had lost a right arm. He was, indeed, the 
the half of my soul."t 

Father Magnien was essentially a practical man, with a clear 
vision and sound judgment; unshaken on questions of prin- 
ciple, but still adapting himself to circumstances. With the 
Cardinal, he had often discussed the ideals of the priesthood 
and methods by which these might be realized through the 
training at St. Mary's, the mother of so many devoted "am- 
bassadors of Christ." The settled purpose of both was to 
develop men of God, and at the same time, practical men, who 

t Very Bev. A. L. Magnien, a Memorial, pp. 5. 6, 7, 8. 


would know how to reach out with strong personal appeal in 
the communities which they served. 

The Catholic priest is brought so close to his Maker by the 
intensity of the discipline which absorbs his daily hfe that 
it is little wonder if he considers only the judgment of Heaven 
as valuable and ignores the view with which he may be re- 
garded by man. From the moment of beginning his prepara- 
tion for the sacred ministry, he is so engrossed in prayer, med- 
itation, scripture reading and study, that there is scarcely 
room for anything else to enter. Starting with the time 
when he is awakened in the morning at the seminary by the 
call of the priest, ''Benedicamus Domino!" (Let us bless the 
Lord), and he replies, "Deo gratias!" (Thanks be to God), he 
must accept everything thrust upon him with a "Deo gratias!" 
The whole object of his training is to teach him to be Hke 
Christ. When, at last, his arduous preparation is over and 
he has been ordained, his daily mass and meditation, the read- 
ing of his office (a long series of scriptural quotations and 
other precepts designed to impress upon him indelibly the spir- 
itual duties of his mission), his round of pastoral calls, visiting 
the sick, working in his school, hearing confessions in a stifling 
closet for hours — all this requires him to pass his life almost 
constantly at prayer or in the active performance of duties that 
weigh upon him Hke a staggering burden. He gives up family 
and friends, and everything which men hold dear, that every 
moment of his time may be spent in the service of God. What 
wonder if in lifelong meditation on the Divine, he should for- 
get the human; if he should develop the habit of regarding the 
world and its institutions with distrust; or if, in reprehending 
sin and standing as a bulwark against wrong in the compara- 
tively narrow circle of his parish, he should, perhaps, lose the 
savoir faire and be regarded by some as hard and intolerant? 
The fervor of his religious life, reaching its climax in the sacri- 
fice of the mass and the sacred mysteries of the Catholic 
Church, which he may approach with an authority handed 


down to him through the Apostles, tends to an intensity of 
conviction which may cause the priest to regard with scant 
consideration those differing from him concerning spiritual 
questions. Is it strange, then, if he considers monstrous the 
view that his Church is but a form and a shadow, when he 
knows the loftiness of the religious fervor which is her whole 
aim and object ? 

He sees few Protestants. He is so busy attending to the 
wants of his own spiritual children that he can not participate 
in secular affairs and feel all the currents of life that pulse 
through the arteries of society. Only a man of the strongest 
character, the widest vision, can avoid being what the world 
might call narrow, if he meets with whole-hearted devotion the 
tremendous responsibilities and duties of the priesthood. 

The Cardinal and Father Magnien knew that it was neces- 
sary for priests to get more in touch with the times, and that 
they must learn how to do this without in the least detracting 
from the sacred character of their calling, or the ideals and im- 
pulses which they derived from the fountain of the Church. 
They felt that priests must have a red-blooded interest in the 
temporal as well as in the spiritual affairs of their neighbors, 
and must be able to meet them out of Church as well as in the 
confessional and at the altar. They would have them know 
the laws, the institutions, the spirit of their country; share in 
movements for social betterment, for economic progress. 
There is a great gap between this ideal which they laid down 
for American priests and the sensation-monger, who clutches 
at merely transient events as material for constructing some- 
thing to draw a congregation, which might be repelled by his 
shallowness and bigotry if he trod the even path of the Gospel. 

So fruitful has been the cardinal's interest in the training of 
priests, that he has lived to see a great change in many of them. 
In his own diocese, he has been quick to reward merit and pro- 
mote men who showed that they had the breadth to occupy the 


higher positions of the Church. His desire was that they 
should not only be pastors, but men in touch with the com- 
munity, and able to express and exemplify all its noblest aspi- 
rations. He is called "the Father of Priests," because he 
has ordained so many of them. Up to 191 1 he had ordained 
nearly 1,400, secular and regular. He has consecrated 27 
bishops, and conferred the pallium on 12 archbishops. As the 
officially appointed delegate of the Pope, he has invested two 
cardinals — Satolli and Martinelli — with the rank and insignia 
of princes of the Church. 

A severe blow to the Cardinal was the destruction by fire, 
March 17, 191 1, of St. Charles College, where he had pursued 
his early studies in preparation for the priesthood. He gave 
$10,000 to aid in rebuilding this institution, which was iden- 
tified with so many memories of his own life. 

Another loss which wrenched the Cardinal's heart was the 
death, on February 11, 191 1, of Archbishop Ryan, of Phila- 
delphia, a companion and prop of the most fruitful years of his 
career. The beloved archbishop was stricken with heart dis- 
ease and lay for weeks in the shadow of certain death, his soul 
seeming to hover on the border of the material and spiritual 
worlds. That rich and powerful voice which had penetrated the 
remotest recess of the Baltimore Cathedral on occasions big 
with importance to the Church in America became at times a 
whisper; yet in periods when the sufferer was conscious, it 
breathed of faith in God, charity to all men and love of country. 

A few days before his death the cardinal went to Philadel- 
phia to visit him. Entering the sick room, he placed his hands 
on the archbishop's brow and said softly : 

"Your Grace does not know me." 

"After forty years." came the answer. "T know everv tone 
of your Eminence's voice and now as ever I am convinced that 
you are the instrument of Providence for every good thing for 
our Church and country." 


For some minutes they talked, the visit of the cardinal seem- 
ing to endow his sick friend with new strength. They spoke 
of men and things long gone, of mutual hopes that had blos- 
somed or withered. Naturally their thoughts turned to the 
future of the nation which they loved so well and served so 
faithfully. "If we keep America conservative," remarked the 
archbishop, "no country will be as great as this." 

Tears were in the cardinal's eyes as he departed from the 
house of the dying. Another sympathizer — a Protestant — 
who visited the archbishop shortly before his death, said that 
it seemed like entering a room filled with angels. 

One of the cardinal's close friends was Joseph Frieden- 
wald, a wealthy and charitable member of the Jewish faith, 
who had been instrumental, when President of the Board of 
Trustees of the Baltimore Almshouse, in permitting the estab- 
lishment of a Catholic chapel there. Mr. Friedenwald was a 
frequent caller at the cardinal's residence and at his death in 
December, 1910, bequeathed $2,000 to the eminent prelate 
whose breadth of soul could appreciate true worth without dis- 
tinction of creed. 

The Cardinal has been a favorite subject for painters, and 
several sculptors have also essayed to reproduce his features 
in marble and bronze. The expression of his face is such that, 
once seen, it is never forgotten ; but it has the remarkable fac- 
ulty of exhibiting such great changes, amounting almost at 
times to transmutation of characteristic features, that he has 
been the despair of not a few artists, and their prolonged efforts 
to depict him sometimes tired him out. Perhaps the most accu- 
rate likeness of him ever made was one by Gagliardi, of Rome, 
which has hung for many years in the main parlor of his resi- 
dence. Another good likeness, by Healy, is in the rear parlor. 
Chartran, Bonnat, Benziger, Klots, Miss Keller, Miss Mac- 
kubin and Ury Muller had fair success in painting him. In- 
numerable photographs of him have been made; and such is the 
mobility of his expression that scarcely two of them are alike. 


When the perpetration of unnatural crimes or the develop- 
ment of race feeling led to the spread of the lynching evil in 
States both North and South, the Cardinal's attitude was one 
of the powerful influences which arrested it. An article on 
this subject from his pen appeared in the North American 
Review for October, 1905, in which he pronounced lynching 
"a blot on our American civilization." He traced the evil to 
its source by pointing out the difficulty and, at times, the im- 
possibilityof securing prompt trial and punishment of offenders 
under the criminal laws which prevailed in a number of States. 
Revision of these laws in the interest of speedy and effective 
justice and their impartial enforcement he considered a sov- 
ereign remedy for the trouble. 

A few years previously he had commented on recent race 
troubles in the South as follows : 

"In the history of mankind it has been observed that when 
two distinct races coexisted in the same territory, one race has 
always exercised a certain supremacy over the other. While 
this principle is admitted, it is the manifest duty of every pa- 
triot, statesman and Christian to see that the relations between 
the races should be friendly, harmonious and mutually bene- 
ficial. The race conflicts, antagonism and bloodshed -vhich 
have recently occurred in several States of the Union can be 
largely traced to two great causes — the one-sided and ill- 
directed system of negro education and the consequent abuse 
of the ballot-box. 

"The colored race is naturally kind and gentle, affectionate 
and grateful, with religious emotions easily aroused. But the 
education which it is generally receiving is calculated to 
sharpen its mental faculties at the expense of its religious and 
moral sense. It fosters ambition without supplying the means 
of gratifying it. It feeds the head, while the heart is starved. 
No education is complete that does not teach the science of 


self-restrainf, and that is found only in the decalogue and the 

"The abuse of the ballot-box is chargeable more to white 
demagogues than to the blacks themselves. The politicians 
use the negro vote for their own selfish purposes. I am per- 
suaded that a restriction of suffrage by a property qualification 
would be a wise measure."* 

His views on the race question were further exemplified by 
his opposition to a bill introduced in the Maryland Legislature 
in 1904, requiring the separation of the races on the street cars 
of Baltimore. He actively exerted his personal influence 
against this bill, which was defeated. The Cardinal held that 
separation as thus proposed would have been a constant source 
of ill-feeling by openly illustrating the discrimination between 
the races in a conspicuous way. 

His earlier views developed in the Knights of Labor con- 
troversy were confirmed by the experiences of riper years. As 
late as 1905 he wrote to Rome, opposing the condemnation of 
the societies known as the "Knights of the Maccabees," "Mod- 
ern Woodmen" and "Improved Order of Red Men," and they 
were not put on the forbidden list. 

He never lost an opportunity to lend his assistance to move- 
ments in the interest of universal peace. When conferences 
on this subject were instituted at Lake Mohonk, N. Y., he 
warmly approved them ; and at a gathering of this kind. May 
31, 1906, he made the principal address on "The Triumphs of 
Peace." He reminded his hearers that Christ was called "the 
Prince of Peace," and that He came, above all, "to break down 
the wall of partition which divided nation from nation." 
Since the Revolution, he pointed out, there had been four wars, 
in the United States. He said that at least three of these might 
have been easily averted by peaceful arbitration, and that a 

• Baltimore Surk. 1 lov. 26, 1898. 


large share of the responsibihty rested upon the shoulders of 
the American people. He showed forcibly how Christianity 
had reduced war and mitigated its horrors. While the Roman 
Republic and Empire were almost constantly engaged in bloody 
strife, the United States had passed through only about ten 
years of war in the one hundred and twenty years of its exist- 
ence. He contrasted the conduct of Titus toward the defeated 
Jews with the magnanimity of Grant in the hour of his triumph 
over the brilliant and noble Lee. It was not impossible, he said, 
to put a stop to the settlement of disputes between nations by 
bloodshed, any more than it had been to abolish the practice of 

About this time, suggestions were advanced that a Secretary 
of Peace be added to the Cabinet of the President of the United 
States. For this post, if it should be created, George T. 
Angell, of Boston, president of the American Harmony So- 
ciety, strongly urged Cardinal Gibbons, holding that his influ- 
ence would be powerful in preventing future conflicts between 
the United States and Catholic nations. 

The Cardinal's interest in the cause of peace has continued 
keen. With President Taft, Secretary of State Knox, Andrew- 
Carnegie and other noted men, he took part in the dedication of 
a great Peace Palace of the American Republics in Washington, 
April 25, 1910. His address at the Third National Peace Con- 
gress held in Baltimore in May, 191 1, was a powerful appeal for 
an arbitration treaty between the United States and Great Brit- 
ain as a forerunner of similar conventions binding all nations. 
The president of the congress, in introducing him, characterized 
him as one of the most potent forces in the world for the abo- 
lition of war and recalled the appeal issued by Cardinals Gib- 
bons, Logue and Vaughan at Easter, 1896, as one of the great 
contributory causes of the Hague Conference of 1899. 

After a famous prize-fight in 1910, there was a wave of pro- 
test throughout the country against the exhibition in theatres 
of motion pictures reproducing its brutal details. As usual, 


Cardinal Gibbons spoke with emphasis and went to the root of 
the whole question. 

"If the pictures of this contest were permitted," he said, I 
am sure hundreds of children would see them, and what would 
be the result ? Their morals would not only be contaminated, 
but they would have the wrong ideal of a true hero. After 
seeing the pictures a boy would naturally infer that the real 
American hero was a man bespattered with blood and with a 
swollen eye given him by another in a fistic encounter. The 
boy would go and try to do likewise. This would be a sad 
state of affairs. There are true heroes whom the young can 
emulate in a way to improve their manhood and ideals."* 

The subject of proper religious care of the great host of 
immigrants who flocked to the United States in times of pros- 
perity was close to the cardinal's heart. He opposed restricting 
this tide by a broad educational requirement, holding that many 
of the most desirable immigrants would be excluded by such a 
process. He wrote to President Roosevelt in June, 1906, ex- 
pressing a warning against the prevalent zeal to go too far in 
this respect. 

Considering divorce one of the most serious dangers which 
threatened the American people, he often declared vigorously 
his views on that subject. Writing in the Delineator, a journal 
for women, in July, 1907, he expressed himself as follows: 

"The reckless facility with which divorce is procured in this 
country is an evil scarcely less deplorable than Mormonism. 
Indeed, it is in some respects more dangerous, for divorce has 
the sanction of the civil law, which Mormonism has not. Is 
not the law of divorce a virtual toleration of Mormonism in a 
modified form? Mormonism consists in a simultaneous polyg- 
amy, while the law of divorce practically leads to successive 
polygamy. * * * It is plainly manifest that the cancer of 

• Baltimore Sun, July 7, 1910. 

f1 ^ 

< ^ 


— u 

z m 

u uj 


o z' 


5 o 

I ? 

U I 

< < 

Z . 

< I 

< ^ 

z in 



U) > 

iij o 

q: _i 


divorce is rapidly spreading over the community and poisoning 
the fountains of the nation. Unless the evil is checked by some 
speedy and heroic remedy, the existence of family life is im- 

In a letter addressed to the "Congress of Mothers," in Wash- 
ington, May I, 191 1, the Cardinal further expressed his views 
of woman and her duties in the world. He wrote : 

"The home is the primeval school. It is the best, the most 
hallowed and the most potential of all academies, and the 
parent, especially the mother, is the first, the most influential 
and the most cherished of all teachers. 

"For various reasons mothers should be the first instructors 
of their children. 

"First — As nature ordains that mothers should be the first 
to feed their offspring with corporal nourishment of their own 
substance, so the God of nature ordains that mothers should 
be the first to impart to their little ones 'the rational, guileless 
milk of heavenly knowledge, whereby they may grow into sal- 
vation' (i Peter 11. i). 

"Second — The children that are fed by their own mothers 
are usually more healthy and robust than those that are nour- 
ished by wet nurses. In like manner, the children that are 
instructed by their own mothers in the elements of Christian 
knowledge are commonly more sturdy in faith and are more 
responsive to the call of moral duty than those who are com- 
mitted for instruction to strangers. 

"Third — The progress of a pupil in knowledge is in a great 
measure proportioned to the confidence he has in his preceptor. 
Now, in whom does a child place so much belief as in his 
mother? She is his oracle and prophet. She is his guide, 
philosopher and friend. He never doubts what his mother 
tells him. The lesson he receives acquires additional force 
because it proceeds from one to whom he has given his first 
love, and whose image in after life is indelibly stamped on his 


heart or memory. Mothers, do not lose the golden opportunity 
you have of training your children in point of morals while 
their hearts are open to drink in your every word. 

"Fourth — You share the same home with your children. 
You frequently occupy the same apartment. You eat at the 
same table with them. They are habitually before your eyes. 
You arc, therefore, the best fitted to instruct them and you 
can avail yourself of every little incident that presents itself 
and draw from it some appropriate moral reflection." 

His voice was raised earnestly against "race suicide," to which 
attention was also vigorously called by President Roosevelt in 
the opening years of the twentieth century. Both in public and 
private, he did not hesitate to speak with unsparing plainness 
of this evil, in which he saw a certain sign of national decay 
unless it were arrested. In a letter to the Baltimore Sun, Oc- 
tober 1 8, 1907, he wrote: 

"Marriage, according to the Christian dispensation, is not 
intended for self-indulgence, but for the rearing of children in 
the knowledge and fear of God, who will fulfill their every 
obligation as individuals and as members of the social body, 
and prepare themselves for the eternal society of their Divine 
Master and His faithful servants. Its duties, properly ful- 
filled, develop in the highest degree self-denying, unfailing, 
courageous devotedness in the individual; and, consequently, 
in the family, the strong and tender bonds that hold its mem- 
bers in undying fidelity and love. * * * It is a great 
mistake to suppose that the two or three children of the small 
family, who receive all the advantages and all the indulgences 
that their parents can bestow, are going to become the best men 
and women. There is a discipline and a training in the large 
family, where the feelings and rights of others have constantly 
to be reckoned with, which is much more effective in prepar- 
ing the right sort of men and women to meet the conditions of 
real life. Those thus reared wi'll not so easily be found among 
the hordes of lazy, self-centered do-nothings, who are of no 


good to church, or to society, or to themselves. The race has 
not improved, but has suffered disaster in both nations and 
communities, v^here the procreation of children has not been 
looked upon as a matter far too sacred and momentous to be 
left to the control of individual appreciation of its manifold 
and perplexing problems. The accidentally occurring case of 
exceptional hardship for the mother, where physical health is 
gravely compromised, has been made far too much of. All 
important general laws bear hard at times upon the individual." 
His sympathies were warmly enlisted in the systematic fight 
against the ravages of tuberculosis. In October, 1907, he 
addressed a letter to the secretary-general of the Interna- 
tional Congress on Tuberculosis, which was held in Washing- 
ton in the autumn of the following year, expressing the belief 
that the disease would ultimately be brought under as com- 
plete control as smallpox and yellow fever. 

The Cardinal took a prominent part in the celebration of the 
centenary of the New York Diocese, in 1908. At a grand Te 
Deum in St. Patrick's Cathedral, April 29, he delivered the 
sermon, on which occasion Cardinal Logue, Archbishop of 
Armagh, Primate of Ireland, celebrated pontifical mass, and 
Mgr. Falconio, the Apostolic Delegate, imparted the papal 

Cardinal Gibbons, in his sermon, dwelt upon the strong men 
who had helped to build up the Diocese of New York since it 
was separated from the mother see of Baltimore by brief of 
Pius VII. He regarded Archbishop Hughes as having been 
providentially raised up to meet the exigencies of the times, as 
Carroll had been. Hughes he characterized as active, bold, 
vigorous, aggressive, in contrast to McCloskey, the first prince 
of the church in America, "meek, gentle, retiring from the 
world." He did not fail to speak in warm praise of the piety 
and learning of Archbishop Corrigan, his opponent in the con- 
sideration of so many questions about which leaders of the 


Church might naturally differ. To the whole assemblage, he 
addressed this admonition : 

"Take an active, loyal, personal interest in all that concerns 
the temporal and spiritual welfare of our beloved country. No 
man should be a drone in the social beehive. No one should 
be an indifferent spectator of the social, economic and political 
events occurring around him. As you all enjoy the protection 
of a strong and enlightened government, so should each man 
have a share in sustaining the burden of the Commonwealth. 
Above all, take an abiding and a vital interest in all that affects 
your holy religion."* 

Another International Eucharistic Congress was held in 
September, 1910, this time in Montreal, the heart of Catholic 
Quebec. Cardinal Vincent Vannutelli attended in the capacity 
of Papal Legate, as he had done two years before in London, 
but under far different auspices; for government and people, 
under the same flag that floated over the mother country, wel- 
comed him with a fervor which was in striking contrast to his 
cold reception in the British metropolis. Accompanied by 
Cardinals Gibbons and Logue, he carried the Sacred Host 
through the streets in a procession which was five hours in 
passing. Non-Catholics as well as Catholics watched rever- 
ently in the throngs which turned out to witness so impressive 
a religious spectacle, and not an untoward incident marked the 
events of the day. Before the procession Cardinal Gibbons 
preached at pontifical high mass in the Cathedral of St. James, 
picturing, with that abundance of metaphor which he knew so 
well how to use, the spiritual significance of the occasion. 

"Your Eminence will be able to recount to the Holy 
Father," he said to Cardinal Vannutelli in conclusion, "the 
success which has crowned this congress from beginning to 
end. * * * You will speak of the solemn and public pro- 
cessions through the streets of Montreal, not only without let 

• MoNally, "The CaUioIic CentennlaJ," pp. 52 to «1. 


or hindrance, but with the cordial approval and co-operation 
of the civic authorities, and the piety and enthusiasm of the 
devoted people." 

The admiration felt by the world-wide representation of 
Catholics there assembled for the beloved American cardinal 
w^as strikingly shown at a fete given in his honor by Sir 
Thomas George Shaughnessy, whose guest he was in Mon- 
treal; and soon after the close of the inspiring celebration 
Cardinal Vannutelli visited him in Baltimore, where the 
Roman prelate was welcomed with a procession in which lead- 
ing men of the city escorted him to the Cathedral. Cardinals 
Gibbons, Vannutelli and Logue also attended the consecration 
of St. Patrick's Cathedral, in New York, then just freed from 

The Cardinal's last book, "Discourses and Sermons," ap- 
peared in 1908. Nearly all of these related to subjects strictly 
religious. They were selected for their appropriateness to 
every Sunday of the year and the principal festivals. In one 
of them, on the "Growth of the Catholic Church in America," 
he discussed the losses which the faith has sustained in America, 
a subject upon which the opponents of liberalism in the Church 
have not failed at times to dwell with emphasis. The Cardinal 
ascribed these losses to three principal causes. The first was 
the scarcity of priests, especially in the early periods of 
America. He pointed out that many of the immigrants who 
came to this country were scattered over a large area, where 
they were rarely, if ever, visited by clergymen of their own 
faith. For them there was no rallying point, no church" 
where they could meet and be a source of growth to each other. 
Their children, not having access to a chapel or Sunday-school 
of their own, were often led to unite with their companions in 
attending services at variance with the religion of their fathers. 
The difficulty caused by the scarcity of priests, the Cardinal 
believed, had been stopped or considerably lessened, except in 
some remote sections of the country. 


The second cause he found in the effects of mixed marriages. 
"The frequent outcome of such unions," he wrote, "is a spirit 
of indifference to rehgion on the part of the Cathohc spouse, 
and its total loss on the part of the children; or, where their 
faith is actually preserved, it is often more or less diluted." 
But the Cardinal was by no means extreme in his views on this 
subject. He added: 

"I must avow, as the result of my personal observations, 
that in the Diocese of Baltimore, we have gained at least as 
many as we have lost by mixed marriages. Not a few of the 
most edifying and prominent members of the Church in Balti- 
more are the fruit of such wedlocks. * * * My personal 
experience, however, has little weight when counterbalanced by 
the overwhelming testimony of missionaries throughout the 
length and breadth of the land." 

He found another cause of shrinkage in the public schools, 
"from which all positive Christian doctrine is excluded." A 
considerable proportion of Catholic children, he believed, re- 
ceived little or no religious instruction from their parents, and 
when they visited the public schools their associations and en- 
vironment were usually unfriendly to their faith. 

In the general progress of the Church under the American 
flag, the Cardinal found cause for abundant rejoicing. One 
century after Baltimore was raised to a metropolitan see, he 
showed, the Church in the United States comprised a hierarchy 
of nearly lOO bishops, 16,000 priests, and a Catholic population 
numbering 14,000,000. "If we include Porto Rico and the 
Philippines," he added, "the number of the faith under the 
aegis of the American flag will amount to fully 22,000,000." 

In a sermon on "Christian Marriage," he dwelt strongly on 
the untoward consequences which result from hasty plunges 
into matrimony. He advised young men not to choose women 
distinguished only for beauty, wealth or fascinating manners. 


His standard for persons contemplating matrimony was stated 
in these words : 

"Seek a wife who is virtuous m her conduct, modest in her 
demeanor, discreet and temperate in speech, and who is trained 
in the school of domestic habits. She will create for you a 
quiet, contented and cheerful home." 

Protestant ministers who habitually omit the word "obey" 
from the marriage service will be interested in this declaration : 

"And let me exhort you young women who have embraced 
the married state to love, honor and obey your husbands. 'As 
the Church,' says St. Paul, 'is subject to Christ, so also let 
wives be to their husbands in all things.' This obedience, far 
from being irksome, will become easy and delightful when 
prompted by genuine affection." 

To husbands, he addressed the following advice of St. Paul : 
" 'Love your wives. As Christ also loved the Church and 

delivered Himself up for it, so ought men to love their wives 

as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself; 

for no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cher- 

iseth it as also Christ does the Church.' " 

In a sermon on obedience to lawful authority, he showed 
that in America, where the laws are made by authority of the 
whole body of citizenship, the necessity of obedience rested 
upon all. He held that a citizen had an undoubted right to 
criticise the official conduct of public functionaries; but that 
this should be done with calmness, temperance and dispassion- 
ate judgment. He admitted that abuses existed in the system 
of popular elections, and said that, owing to the imperfection 
of human nature, they would always be found; but the fact 
that some abuses of power existed did not destroy the principle 
of submitting with obedience to lawful authority. 

The sermons embraced within the book cover a wide range 
of topics, in which everyone can find something of interest and 


profit. Their lucidity and grace of style make them particu- 
larly valuable for popular reading, and the soundness of their 
doctrine gives the collection a value which has afforded it a per- 
manent place in Catholic literature. 

The seventy-sixth birthday of Cardinal Gibbons was marked 
by many expressions of affection and congratulation from the 
great and small alike. In speaking of the reflections which it 
called up he said : 

"I am contented ; happy. It is much to be given to any mor- 
tal to be able to say that. If it were given to me to live all of 
these seventy-six years again I should not wish them different. 
I should be a priest. The calling of a priest is a difficult one, 
but there is sublime happiness in the dedication of one's self 
to service." 

He saw no attraction in the work of a representative in 
civil government, a lawyer or a physician to equal that of an 
"Ambassador of Christ." In the church he could reach the 
great, fundamental issues without the obscurity which so often 
clouds them in the mind of the time-server. He considered 
divorce, then as before, the chief problem of the nation. 

"Divorce," he remarked, "is a canker which is eating into 
the very vitals of our life. Society — our whole civilization — 
uprears itself upon the sanctity of the home and the unity of 
the family. When you attack the family you attack govern- 
ment itself. And government to protect and perpetuate itself 
must expunge from its statutes the criminal divorce laws, 
which the best of our life abhors." 

He considered that another ever-present danger was that 
young men regarded with apathy their civic responsibility. On 
this point he said : 

"Let more young men of education and virtuous ideals give 
themselves to the public service, and if they do so with clean 
hearts and hands, the pregnant evils of government must be 
eliminated. In serving your country you are serving God. I 
have preached this and written it again and again. The better 


class of our citizens so often stand aloof from practical poli- 
tics and the conduct of campaigns. One result of universal 
suffrage is that elections very frequently turn upon the vote 
of that large class made up of the rougher and baser sort."* 

Thomas A. Edison, the famous inventor, having denied the 
doctrine of immortality. Cardinal Gibbons was prompt to take 
up the discussion with him.* This debate, because of the rep- 
resentative character of the disputants, attracted marked atten- 
tion in the Christian world. Edison reasoned as a material 
scientist, but without that broad foundation of philosophy and 
psychology which is necessary, if simple faith be rejected, to 
guide the considerations of the human mind from the finite 
to the infinite. He began with the assertion that man is not an 
individual but a collection of myriads of individuals, as a city 

"The cell, minute and little known," he proceeded, "is the 
real and only individual. A man is made up of many million 
cells. Not being, in effect, an individual, hov/ could he go to 
heaven or hell as an individual or be given a reward or punish- 
ment after death had caused the separation of his cells and the 
diffusion of their collective intelligence? * * * We are no 
more individuals than cities are. * * * if you cut your 
hand it bleeds. Then you lose cells, and that is quite as if a 
city lost inhabitants through some tremendous accident." 

It is the mind, he argued, that is divine, if he should admit the 
word at all, and mind consisted of the collective intellect of all 
the cells which constitute a man. To punish or reward the 
combined soul of the great cell-collection would be as unjust as 
it would be impossible and 'Nature is as just as she is merci- 
less.' " Edison was careful to say that this did not affect his 
firm belief in the "great moral law," which he summed up in 
the precepts of the Golden Rule. 

• New York World, July 24. 1910. 

t Columbian Magazine, January and March, 1911. 


"Science proves its theories," he continued, "or it rejects 
them. I have never seen the shghtest scientific proof of the 
rehgious theories of heaven and hell; of future life for indi- 
viduals or of a personal God. * * * Proof! Proof! 
That is what I have always been after ; that is what my mind 
requires before it can accept a theory as a fact. * * * j 
do not know the soul. I know the mind. If there really is 
any soul, I have found, in my investigations, no evidence of it." 

Edison expressed no doubt of a Supreme Intelligence, but 
could not personify it. Life, it appeared to him, goes on end- 
lessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals or 
even in vegetables. While life, collectively, must be immortal, 
human beings, individually, could not be, because they were not 
individuals but mere aggregate of cells. The core of the great 
scientist's premise, argument and conclusion was summed up 
in the declaration : "There is no supernatural." 

Cardinal Gibbons, in his reply, went to the root of the ques- 
tion by pointing out that while Edison's general theme was 
a denial, it was a denial based on assertion. 

"The most striking assertion," reasoned the Cardinal, "is his 
fundamental one that cells have intelligence. Mr. Edison does 
not try to prove it ; he asserts it over and over again. And he 
claims to accept no scientific fact without the final proof. Now, 
who ever proved the existence of an intelligent cell? There is 
not a scintilla of proof, not the beginning of a proof for such 
an assertion." 

The cardinal cited as an example the remark of Mr. Edison 
that when one cuts his hand and it bleeds, there is a loss of cells, 
as if a city lost some of its inhabitants. 

"If my hand bleeds," the cardinal argued, "then, according 
to his theory, I lose part of my intelligence. If I lose my hand 
then I lose more intelligence; and, as one of my friends put it, 
an appalling loss of mind would go with the loss of a leg or 
when a stout man reduces in flesh." 


It seemed to him that "what Edison really meant was that 
the mind is made up of the combined intelligence of the brain 
cells; but so far as science knows, there is no more proof of 
the existence of intelligence in a brain cell than in the cell of a 
potato. We do know that there is a connection between the 
brain and the mind, that the mind thinks through the aid of the 
brain, as it sees through the aid of the nerves of the eye; but 
that does not prove that the brain thinks any more than it 
proves that the nerves of the eyes see; no more even than 
it would prove that the strings of a violin enjoy their own 
music. If we do not know that cells have intelligence, how can 
we know that any combination of cells can produce intelli- 
gence? Yet Mr. Edison beHeves it. * * * 

"We know nothing, then, about intelligent cells ; but we do 
know that a man has an intelligent mind or soul. We do not 
distinguish between mind and soul in the way Mr. Edison does, 
in his unphilosophical terminology. The mind is the soul in its 
intellectual operations." 

The cardinal pointed to revealed religion as proof that the 
soul endures after death. 

"Christ," he declared, "brings to humanity the certainty of 
eternal life. He proved it by his own resurrection; and, if any 
one thinks that the evidence of Christ's resurrection is weak, 
I ask him to study and think deeply over the fifteenth chapter 
of First Corinthians. No sane scholar denies that we have 
here the testimony of St. Paul himself; nor that St. Paul is 
honestly setting down the testimony of those who claim to have 
seen our Lord after his death. If so many sane men, apostles 
and disciples of Christ are mistaken; if they can not believe 
the testimony of their own eyes, if delusion can keep such a 
firm hold on so many different characters for so many years 
and become the basis of all their beliefs and the transforming 
power of their lives, then no human testimony is of any value; 
then let us close our courts of justice, for no case is proven by 
so many trustworthy witnesses." 


The cardinal showed that the human mind, apart from the 
evidences of revealed religion, is able to reason up to the im- 
mortality of the soul. 

"But happily," he proceeded, "it did not please God to 
save the world by logic or philosophy, nor would it have 
pleased man. The world was never governed by philosophy; 
it has never wanted to be and it never will be. Christianity 
knows the nature of man ; it has a far deeper wisdom than was 
ever dreamed of in the philosophies of the great thinkers." 

Visitors from abroad, particularly those from Catholic 
countries, have written much of their trips to Baltimore and 
their observations of the Cardinal. One of the most interest- 
ing of these is Abbe Felix Klein, professor in the Catholic 
Institute of Paris, who thus records his impressions : 

"At four o'clock we started for a drive. Usually the Car- 
dinal walks, but today he takes a carriage in order that I may 
see more of the city. Almost everybody salutes him. 

"During our trip we had time to talk of many persons and 
many things. A part of our conversation may perhaps be re- 
peated without indiscretion. The Cardinal praised highly 
the devoted wisdom of Father Magnien, the former superior of 
the Baltimore Seminary, who was foremost in his confidence 
and friendship. He inquired about the Montalembert family, 
who have had some relations with him, and who bear a name 
that he esteems among the most honorable in the world. He 
asked news of Paul Bourget, whose visit, some years ago, 
deeply interested him; he was astonished at the accuracy with 
which the author of 'Outre-Mer' was able, without having 
taken notes, to reproduce their conversation. * * * 

"Our talk drifted to some more general questions. When 
the Cardinal speaks of America, his words breathe the warmest 
admiration for her institutions ; comparison of them with those 
of other countries is not able to chill his sentiments. He re- 
joices in the splendid possibilities which the common freedom 


opens to the Church and to all well-meaning persons. He is 
pleased to see Catholics play the part of good citizens in the 
affairs of the country; he himself sets the example whenever 
occasion arises. His countrymen like to invite him to the 
great public ceremonies, at which a place is reserved for him 
next to the President. 

"How important the work of Cardinal Gibbons has been I 
had fresh opportunities of learning during this visit to Balti- 
more. His Eminence honored me with several interviews, and 
we were together for a long ride through the beautiful country 
that surrounds his episcopal city. From this intercourse with 
him, I carried away a deep impression of the wisdom, prudence 
and tact with which this true shepherd of souls has led his 
people into the ways of fidelity to Catholic teaching, respect 
for the convictions of others, loyalty to country, and generous 
sympathy for the noble aspirations of our age. At the begin- 
ning of my sojourn in America, I should doubtless have less 
readily appreciated the mental qualities of the Cardinal, which 
are solid and just, rather than conspicuous and daring; or his 
achievements, which are substantial, rather than ostentatious; 
or, again, his eloquence, which he prefers should be of practical 
use, rather than for literary display ; or, finally, that combina- 
tion of traits of character which makes a true and genuine man, 
rather than the mere appearance of one. I say, I should not 
have been prepared at first properly to estimate all this ; but as 
I became more familiar with American conditions, and more 
permeated with the American spirit — a spirit which is simple, 
practical, frank, optimistic and tolerant — I understood how 
greatly favored the Church has been in having for leaders men 
like Cardinal Gibbons ; men who know and love their country, 
and in their own character exhibit in a high degree the qualities 
most dear to Americans. * * * 

"How favored a place Baltimore is for great ecclesiastical 
events, the opportunities it affords for picking up ecclesiastical 


information and meeting distinguished churchmen, I learned 
from many indications during the three days I spent there. 
Mgr. Kain, Archbishop of St. Louis, who had come to the city 
some months previously to seek medical care at a sanitarium of 
the Sisters of Charity, died the day after my arrival. He left 
behind him the memory of an apostle, of a man of faith, forti- 
tude and vi^isdom. On the third day of my visit, I found at 
dinner with Cardinal Gibbons, Mgr. Falconio, Apostolic Dele- 
gate, I remember with what lively sympathy he expressed 
himself on the religious conditions of the United States. He 
had lived there long enough to understand those conditions, 
and to appreciate them correctly. Happening to discuss with 
him affairs in France, and anxious to learn his opinion of the 
separation of Church and state in France, I was surprised, and, 
to be frank, delighted, to find that the prospect of such a sepa- 
ration far from disquieted him. He saw in such an event the 
way of deliverance; a rough way, indeed, but the only one that 
could lead to a revival of the religious life of France."* 

The rigidity of the cardinal's routine has undergone no 
change as his years advanced. It has been his custom to rise 
at six o'clock every morning. In twenty minutes he is dressed. 
The next thirty-five minutes he spends in morning prayers and 
meditations in his room, his favorite subjects for spiritual 
reflection in this period being the Epistles or Gospels of St, 
Paul. From seven to half-past seven he celebrates his daily 
mass and afterward spends twenty minutes in prayer before 
the Blessed Sacrament (thanksgiving after mass). For the 
first time he then turns his attention to secular things, devoting 
ten minutes to glancing over his morning's mail and news- 
papers. At eight o'clock he breakfasts abstemiously and fol- 
lowing this takes up the correspondence of the day with his 
secretary — a clergyman of his household. In former years he 
wrote many letters with his own hand in smooth, clear penman- 

• Klein, "The Land of the Strenuous Life," p. 233 et neq. 


ship, but often, after reading a letter, he gives the instruction 
"Answer on these hnes" and leaves it to the secretary to draft 
the ideas which he expresses. 

The reading of his office consumes about an hour and a 
half a day. This spiritual exercise prescribed by the Church 
consists of matins and lauds, three-quarters of an hour; the 
"Little Hours," twenty minutes to half an hour and vespers 
and complin, fifteen minutes. In the United States it is cus- 
tomary to say the matins and lauds* last and the cardinal 
follows this method. 

At nine o'clock punctually he begins with the "Little Hours," 
which many busy priests, who have far less exacting duties, 
are inclined to put off until later. When this is finished he is 
ready for callers, whose reception forms one of the characteris- 
tic features of the day. Priests come to consult him as their 
bishop, not only about the problems of their parishes, but con- 
cerning lesser things w^hich many prelates would not feel justi- 
fied in taking the time to consider. He lends a ready ear to all, 
and this is the means through which he shapes the character of 
his clergy. He knows how to throw out a suggestion, say a word 
of praise or hint at disapproval in a manner that will be effect- 
ive in the right way. But his callers are by no means confined 
to the clergy. They include men and women in every by-path 
of life; millionaire and mendicant; Catholic and Protestant, 
Jew and Gentile; men of light and leading in the nation, state 
or city, who call on him for advice ; persons interested in re- 
forms, seekers after guidance in projects great and small — and 
all are received to the utmost extent that time permits. 

At half-past twelve the cardinal takes his cane and goes out 
for a call or on business. Sometimes he is accompanied, but 
often he is alone. Even in Baltimore, a city of multitudinous 
acnnpJntances. he is one of the best known of all its citizens. 
In the more frequented streets, which he not uncommonly tra- 

• Of the next day. 


verses in the busiest period of the day, he is constantly raising 
his hat, reveaUng the full outline of the red zuchetta. Strang- 
est of all, he calls the names of a great proportion of those 
whose salutes he receives and seems to be an intimate part of 
their joys and sorrows, their daily lives — a fountain from 
which a thousand streams flow. He steps into an office or 
store, chats a moment, smiles and departs, swinging his cane 
and resuming his interminable task of bowing to each acquaint- 
ance. Visitors from other cities are surprised, but to the cardi- 
nal's neighbors it is all a matter of course. 

True to his habit of regulating everything with precision, 
he returns at twenty minutes past one and ten minutes later is 
at dinner. This simple meal being over, he pauses for the first 
time in the course of the day to rest in the quiet of his room, 
and takes a nap of three-quarters of an hour, from which he 
arises refreshed for the newer occupations of the day. His 
afternoon repose is a habit with him, whether he is at home or 
abroad, and has had a great part in sustaining him through the 
physical ordeals which he endures. 

At three o'clock he begins on his matins and lauds, having 
previously read the remainder of his office, and, at the con- 
clusion of this long exercise, indulges in a cigar — often his 
first of the day. About half-past four o'clock he goes for 
another walk, lasting a little over an hour, often traversing 
several miles through the residential section of the city, even 
in the severest weather, and bowing, as before, to acquaintances 
seemingly without number. Before returning to his residence, 
he stops in the Cathedral for a visit of fifteen minutes to the 
Blessed Sacrament. At half-past six o'clock comes supper and 
then another cigar. The cardinal, now through with the 
heavier cares of the day and in the quiet of his study, seeks 
the solace of a book, or perhaps a chat with an intimate friend. 
At half-past seven o'clock he says his rosary, or, if he happens 
to be going out to supper, he performs this act of devotion 
before leaving the house ; nothing is permitted to interfere with 


it. From half-past nine to a quarter before ten he recites his 
night prayers and at ten o'clock he is in bed, allowing nothing, 
unless some extraordinary circumstance, to interfere. Added 
to his numerous acts of daily devotion, he goes to confession 
once a week at St. Mary's Seminary and never fails to attend 
the quarterly conferences of the clergy or to make his annual 
retreat of one week. 


Great Civic Celebration in His Honor. 

After work, came reward; after service, gratitude even in a 
republic. History leaped ahead June 6, 191 1, and the mists of 
past misunderstandings fled before the brilliant sunlight of a 
better day. It was as if the jarring din of centuries had 
blended at last in a sweet note of harmony and goodwill for 
all men. Europe had half learned, through blood and tears, 
that differences concerning religion need not be settled by 
violence of word or deed; but it remained for America to teach 
the sublimest lesson, to bring to perfect fruit the seed planted 
at St. Mary's in 1634, when Calvert's colonists, gathering 
around a rough-hewn cross, set up in the primeval wilderness 
a commonwealth dedicated to liberty of conscience. 

On that June day Cardinal Gibbons stood in the Fifth 
Regiment Armory, a great public hall of Baltimore, and 
looked upon an extraordinary assemblage. It had met in 
honor of his golden jubilee as priest and his silver jubilee 
as cardinal, to attest the regard in which his public services 
were held by his nation, state and city. Near him, on a 

huge platform, sat the President of the United States, Mr. 
Taft; the Vice-President, Mr. Sherman; the only living ex- 
President, Mr. Roosevelt; the Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court, Mr. White; the Speaker of the House of Represen- 
tatives, Mr. Clark; the ex-Speaker, Mr. Cannon; the British 
Ambassador, Mr. Bryce; the Governor of Maryland, Mr. 
Crothers; the Mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Preston; the United 
States Senators from Maryland, Messrs. Rayner and Smith; 
the members of the House of Representatives from the 



Cardinal's State, and a large number of the most prominent 
figures in both Houses of Congress, as well as leading men of 
the state and city, without regard to religious belief. The hall 
was densely crowded with 20,000 of the Cardinal's fellow- 
citizens, Catholics and non-Catholics, men and women, sharing 
alike the inspiring feelings of the occasion. 

As the time of the jubilee drew near, this unique tribute had 
been suggested by the Baltimore Sun, whose columns had re- 
flected during that pregnant half-century the labors and aspira- 
tions of the cardinal's life. The project was taken up with 
eagerness and soon the great celebration was arranged by 
committees headed by Governor Crothers, a Methodist, and 
Mayor Preston, the superintendent of an Episcopal Sunday- 
school. The committees included a number of Catholics, but 
a large majority of their membership was composed of Prot- 
estants. Bishop Murray, of the Episcopal diocese of Mary- 
land, was one of the most active workers. The whole aspect 
of the tribute was non-sectarian in both conception and exe- 

The governor, who presided, pointed out that the occasion 
was "typically representative" of Maryland. 

"It is a gathering," he said, "embracing all religious denomi- 
nations, without distinction or exception, assembled to do honor 
to a great standard-bearer of religion, who represents the high- 
est purposes of church, state and society. While we have as- 
sembled to honor, as with one heart, a distinguished ecclesias- 
tic, an incomparable citizen and a great and good man, the oc- 
casion is, in my mind, still more significant as a spontaneous 
union of men and women, holding every religious and political 
opinion, to tender the token of their esteem and affection to the 
head, in America, of a great church, which has now endured 
almost two thousand years, and whose influence is as wide as 
civilization itself. 

"We salute you, Cardinal Gibbons, as a torch-bearer in our 
midst of religion, justice and patriotism. We acknowledge and 


celebrate before the country and the world your lofty devotion 
to religious faith and purposes, your unfailing and ceaseless 
activities in behalf of this State and Union and of all their spir- 
itual and material interests, your encouragement and help in all 
good aspirations, your wise and beneficent counsels in times of 
difficulty and doubt, your elevating influence upon all the move- 
ments and concerns of this your own native land. The State of 
Maryland tenders you its warmest and deepest felicitations and 
most earnestly wishes you many more years of life and hap- 

President Taft, who, like not a few of his predecessors in 
office, looked on the Cardinal as both friend and adviser, spoke 
from a full heart when he said : 

"We are here to recognize and honor in him his high virtues 
as a patriotic member of our political community and one who 
through his long and useful life has spared no efforts in the 
cause of good citizenship and the uplifting of his fellow-men. 

"As American citizens we are proud that his prominence in 
the Church brought him twenty-five years ago the rank of 
cardinal. The rarity with which this rank is conferred in his 
Church upon bishops and priests so far from Rome is an indi- 
cation of the position which he had won among his fellow- 
churchmen. But what we are especially delighted to see con- 
firmed in him and his life is the entire consistency which he has 
demonstrated between earnest and single-minded patriotism 
and love of country on the one hand and sincere devotion to his 
Church on the other. 

"One of the tenets of his Church is respect for constituted 
authority, and always have we found him on the side of law 
and order, always in favor of peace and good will to all men, 
always in favor of religious tolerance, and always strong in 
the conviction that complete freedom in the matter of religion 
is the best condition under which churches may thrive. With 
pardonable pride he points to the fact that Maryland under 


Catholic control was among the first to give complete religious 

"Nothing could more clearly show the character of the man 
whose jubilee we celebrate than the living testimonial that this 
assembly is to his value as a neighbor in the community of 

"In spite of the burden and responsibilities of his high posi- 
tion in the Church, he has taken part in the many great move- 
ments for the betterment of mankind and has shown himself 
not only a good Catholic in the Church sense, but he has been 
broadly catholic in the secular sense of that word, so that the 
affection felt for him by his co-religionists has spread to all 
denominations and to all the people, who are quick to perceive 
a disinterested friend. 

"That he may long continue active in his present high posi- 
tion, that he may long continue in secular movements to take 
the prominent place he has always had in works of usefulness 
is the fervent prayer of Catholic and Protestant, of Jew and 

Ex-President Roosevelt took occasion to say that it had 
been his "good fortune" to be associated on many different 
occasions with Cardinal Gibbons. 

"Not only is this gathering characteristic of Maryland," he 
remarked, "but it is characteristic of our great Union, it is 
characteristic of America, because here in this republic, with all 
of our faults and shortcomings — and we have plenty of them — 
it is nevertheless true that we have come nearer than any other 
nation to solving the difficult problem of combining complete 
religious liberty and toleration with a devoutly religious feel- 
ing in the people as a whole. 

"And we meet this afternoon to do honor in the name of all 
the American people, in the name of the American nation, to 
you, because while the American people may differ among 
themselves on questions of dogma, they are a unit in recogniz- 


ing what accounts in civic affairs for so much more than 
dogma — conduct, in the churchman as in the statesman. 

"Friends, we read now and then prophecies of woe about 
the churches in the future, complaints as to congregations 
growing smaller, complaints as to lack of belief among the 
congregations. There will be no trouble about the future of 
any American church if that church makes as its cardinal prin- 
ciple the rendering of service to the people. 

"No church in the United States wall ever have to defend 
itself as long as those standing highest in that church, as well 
as those under them, serve the people, devote their lives to the 
service of the men and women round about them, as you. Cardi- 
nal Gibbons, have devoted your life to the service of your 
fellow-countrymen and countrywomen. What we care for, 
what we Americans wish to see in the church, is service ; what 
we wish to judge the man by is his conduct and character. 

"If the church renders good service and if the man rings 
true when we apply the touchstone of principle to his conduct 
and his character, then the American people will be well con- 
tent with both church and man. And, my fellow-countrymen, 
in spite of all the little things that divide us, think how blessed 
we are because we are united on an occasion like this without 
regard to past history and antecedents, without regard to dif- 
ferences of religious or political belief, to honor a good man, 
who in and through his church and as a citizen of this country 
has lived the life that a good man should live. 

"It was my good fortune the other day to attend a meeting 
composed chiefly of Protestant preachers, where I was intro- 
duced by a Catholic priest and where we were led in prayer by 
a Jewish rabbi, and now we come together, Catholic and Prot- 
estant, as the president has said, to render honor to the man 
who is our fellow-citizen and in whom we all claim a certain 
proprietary right. And, friends, religious intolerance and bit- 
terness are bad enough in any country, but they are inexcusa- 
ble in ours. 


"Our republic, mighty in its youth, destined to endure for 
ages, will see many presidents during those ages, and it will 
see presidents who are Catholics as well as presidents who are 
Protestants ; presidents who are Jews as well as presidents who 
are Gentiles. 

"The Cardinal throughout his life has devoted himself to the 
service of the American people. He has endeavored to work 
and he has worked steadily in the uplifting of the lowly ; he has 
worked steadily to bring nearer the day when we should ap- 
proximate better to the rule of justice and fair dealing as be- 
tween man and man. His voice has ever been raised on behalf 
of the weak and the downtrodden, his hand ever stretched out 
toward those who may have slept, toward all those who are in 
suffering, who have suffered loss or were suffering pain. He 
has fought for the rights of the lowly, he has done all that he 
might to bring nearer the day when there should be a more 
complete reign of justice in this land, and he has shown by his 
life his realization of the truth that justice can come only 
through law and order; that disorder and lawlessness are the 
negation of justice and in the end deal most severely against 
the poor and the lowly. 

"He has set an example to all of us in public and private 
life, both by that for which he has striven and the way in 
which he has striven to achieve it. He has striven for justice, 
he has striven for fair dealing and he has striven for it in the 
spirit of truth, in the spirit that has no relation to lawlessness 
or disorder, and at the same time with the fullest recognition 
that law and order, essential though they are, are primarily 
essential because on them as a foundation, and only on them as 
a foundation, is it possible to build the great temple of justice 
and generous fair dealing as between man and man. I am^ 
honored — we are all honored — that the opportunity has come 
today to pay a tribute to what is highest and best in American 
citizenship, when we meet to celebrate this occasion. Cardinal 


Vice-President Sherman presented congratulations to the 
Cardinal in behalf of the Senate, and Senator Root, of New 
York, spoke of him as the "champion of ideals." 

"It is because Cardinal Gibbons," said Mr. Root, "has illus- 
trated in his life, in his conduct, in his arduous labors, in his 
self-devotion to all good causes, all that we would like to have 
our children admire and follow, all that we love to believe our 
country possesses, that America, through us, with sincerity and 
ardor, honors him today. And it is because he has been the 
champion of ideals, because he is a man not only of works but 
of faith that we who differ from him in dogma, who do not 
belong to his church, hold him as in his proper person illustrat- 
ing the true union of service to State and service to God, the 
true union which makes the functional and ceremonial union 
of church and state unnecessary, the union in the heart of man 
of devotion to country and devotion to God. 

"He is both a great prelate and a great citizen, and under his 
guidance his church, his people and his followers have always 
stood, and now stand, a bulwark against atheism and anarchy, 
against the tearing down of those principles of morality and 
of government upon which the opportunities of our country 

Speaker Clark brought greetings not only as presiding officer 
of the House of Representatives but as a citizen of Missouri 
when he said : 

"Cardinal Gibbons stands here today honored by the entire 
American people, without respect to politics or religion or geo- 
graphical lines. Among the men that have met here to do him 
honor, I live farther from this city than any other man here 
except the Ambassador from Great Britain ; and the cardinal's 
words are quoted as often, his influence is as great, the affec- 
tion for him is as strong, west of the great river as it is in the 
city of Baltimore." 


Not a few of those in the vast crowd were unidentified with 
any church. These found a voice in ex-Speaker Cannon, whp 

"In the United States no man lives who has led in doing 
more to bring men together under the influence of a broad 
Catholic spirit in religion, in politics, than yourself. As a 
member of no church organization, one of the outsiders, so 
far as church membership is concerned, I tender to you my 
thanks for the great work that you have led in doing and 
for the great work that is being done, not only in the great 
republic, but in all the world, by those who live under and teach 
under, with a broad Catholic spirit, the precepts of the Master." 

Ambassador Bryce, famous as a historian, took a character- 
istic view of the remarkable scene. 

"Is it not a beautiful sight," he asked, "when we think of 
the ages of the past in which those of us who do not belong to 
the church which his Eminence represents, and those of us who 
do belong to that church, were divided by bitter antagonisms 
and mutual suspicions — is it not a blessed thing that today we 
can all meet without distinction of religious faith to pay honor 
to one who illustrates the fundamental principles of Christi- 
anity by his life as well as by his teachings ? 

"There are diversities of governments but the same spirit, 
and in his Eminence and in his life there is drawn out a beauti- 
ful example of those virtues which belong to our common 
Christianity and which we can all honor alike. 

"And I may say to you, citizens of the United States, that 
if there is anything which we in Europe specially honor and 
admire in the great republic which belongs to you, it is this — 
that you have carried out consistently from the first that ad- 
mirable principle with which you started, of making no dis- 
tinction of religion and by teaching all men that their Christi- 
anity is a part of common citizenship. That is a great lesson 
which has been taught to the world by America and I do not 


think it could be taught in a more impressive form than it is 
taught when all religious faiths may gather to honor an illus- 
trious prelate of the Catholic Church." 

Mayor Preston spoke of the "exalted character and useful 
life" of Cardinal Gibbons and said : 

"In the name of our city and of this vast assemblage of dis- 
tinguished guests and home people I respectfully felicitate him 
upon this recognition by his fellow-citizens of his life and 

As the Cardinal arose, amid acclamations which in ruder 
ages might have been bestowed on a hero returning from the 
conquest of an empire, he beheld in the scene around him the 
justification of his faith in the American people. He who had 
trusted them in the anguish of war, the dark hours of labor 
riots, the scandals of polluted politics, the poisoned atmos- 
phere of social vice and the malignant flames of prejudice, saw 
now that he had not labored in vain. He spoke simply and 
modestly, picturing frankly to his fellow-countrymen the striv- 
ings of his long career and his confidence in the future. His 
address was as follows : 

"I am filled with emotions of gratitude by this extraordinary 
manifestation on the part of my fellow-citizens, without dis- 
tinction of race or religion or condition of hfe, and I am over- 
whelmed with confusion by the unmerited encomiums which 
have been pronounced by the President of the United States, 
the Vice-President, the former President, the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, the former Speaker, Senator Root, 
the Ambassador of Great Britain, the Governor of Maryland 
and the Mayor of Baltimore. 

"Gentlemen, you have portrayed your subject not, I fear, 
as he is, but as he should be. But your portrait is so attrac- 
tive to me that it shall be my endeavor to resemble it more and 
more every day of the few years that remain to me. One 
merit only can I truly claim regarding my civic life, and that is, 
an ardent love for my native country and her political institu- 


tions. Ever since I entered the sacred ministry my aim has 
been to make those over whom I exerted any influence not only 
more upright Christians, but also more loyal citizens; for the 
most faithful Christian makes the best citizen. 

"I consider the Republic of the United States one of the 
most precious heirlooms ever bestowed on mankind down the 
ages, and that it is the duty and should be the delight of every 
citizen to strengthen and perpetuate our Government by the ob- 
servance of its laws and by the integrity of his private life. 
'Righteousness/ says the Book of Proverbs, 'exalteth a nation, 
but sin is a reproach to the people.' 

"If our Government is destined to be enduring it must rest 
on the eternal principles of justice, truth and righteousness, 
and these principles must have for their sanction the recogni- 
tion of a Supreme Being who created all things by His power, 
who governs them by His wisdom and whose superintending 
Providence watches over the affairs of nations and of men. 

"When the framers of our immortal Constitution were in 
session, Benjamin Franklin complained to his colleagues of the 
small progress they had made after several weeks of delibera- 
tion. He used these memorable words : 'We have spent many 
days in fruitless discussion. We have been groping in the dark 
because we have not sought light from the Father of Light to 
illumine our understanding. I have lived,' he continued, 'for 
many years, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs 
I have that God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow 
can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable 
that an empire can rise without His aid and co-operation? We 
are told in the same sacred writings that 'unless the Lord build 
the house, he laboreth in vain who buildeth it.' 

"Thank God, the words of Franklin did not fall on barren 
soil. They have borne fruit. Our Government from its dawn 
to the present time has been guided by Christian ideals. It has 
recognized the existence of a superintending Providence. This 
is evident from the fact that our presidents, from George 


Washington to William Howard Taft, have almost invariably 
invoked the aid of our heavenly Father in their inaugural 
proclamations. Both Houses of Congress are opened with 
prayer. The Christian Sabbath is recognized and observed 
throughout the land. The President of the United States 
issues an annual proclamation, inviting his fellow-citizens to 
assemble in their respective houses of worship and thank the 
Almighty for the blessings vouchsafed to us as a nation. 

"It is true, indeed, that there is no official union of Church 
and State in this country. But we must not infer from this 
that there is any antagonism between the civil and religious 
authorities. Far from it, Church and State move on parallel 
lines. They mutually assist one another. The State holds over 
the spiritual rulers the segis of its protection without interfering 
with the sacred and God-given rights of conscience. And the 
Church on her part helps to enforce the civil laws by moral and 
religious sanctions. 

"I fear that we do not fully realize and are not duly grateful 
for the anxious cares with which our Chief Magistrate and 
the heads of the co-ordinate branches of the Government are 
preoccupied in the discharge of their official duties. And these 
cares are the price which is paid for our domestic peace and 
comfort and the tranquility of the commonwealth. When the 
traveler in mid-ocean is buffeted by the waves he feels a sense 
of security, because he knows that the captain and his officers 
are at the post of duty. So do we securely rest on our pillows 
because we are conscious that our great captain and his asso- 
ciates in office are diligently steering the Ship of State. 

"It is the duty of us all, churchman and layman, to hold up 
the hands of our President, as Aaron and Hur stayed up the 
hands of Moses. Let us remember that our Chief Executive 
and all subordinate magistrates are the accredited agents and 
ministers of God and are clothed with divine authority and 
therefore it is our duty and should be our delight to aid them 


by every means in our power in guiding and controlling the 
destiny of our glorious republic." 

From one end of the country to the other there was a chorus 
of comment on this remarkable demonstration. Catholics nat- 
urally rejoiced, and it was significant that some of the heartiest 
expressions of approval came from non-Catholics. Men ran- 
sacked their minds in vain to find a parallel for it, 


A Summary of His Labors. 

The long and varied life of Cardinal Gibbons has been essen- 
tially one of achievement ; and in such a career some great re- 
sults must stand out. Most important of all, perhaps, is that he 
has made America better understood abroad. His speech at his 
installation in his titular church in Rome, in 1887, was timed 
at a moment when it was able to produce a profound and per- 
manent impression on Europe. Its echoes radiated at once 
throughout the vast structure of the Catholic Church, and, 
from such a source, attracted equally the attention of Prot- 
estants. Europe had not conceived before that America had 
reached an era when there might be "liberty without license, 
and authority without despotism." Such utterances had been 
considered the exuberant fancies of emotional and shallow 
theorists. But here was the deliberate judgment of a prince of 
the Catholic Church, a leader of the greatest conservative 
force in the world, pronounced after full observation and un- 
der circumstances which bespoke the intensity of deep convic- 

The Cardinal also shattered at a blow the fiction that there 
was anything hostile to the Church in the American theory of 
separation of Church and state. He declared that the Church 
was attaining her greatest progress under this system, and that 
in its results it amounted to powerful protection instead of 

He forced on Europe a realization of the stability and sound- 
ness of the United States as a political organization, demon- 
strating that the stage of experiment had passed, and that 



America must be admitted on an equal footing as a permanent 
member of the family of nations. The victories in the Span- 
ish War, eleven years later, demonstrated his country's power, 
and proved that she was to be feared as well as respected. As 
human nature goes, the two lessons were corollaries, and both 
have been learned in a way that once seemed impossible. 

Another great service performed by the Cardinal is that he 
has taken the bitterness out of religious life in America. He 
has not only made Catholics tolerant of Protestants, and vice 
versa, but he has made the different Protestant denominations 
more tolerant of each other. He has long since been accorded 
the place of the most representative churchman of America, 
and he has constantly used this prestige to widen the scope of 
forbearance among all men. This has been accomplished with- 
out the least modification in the orthodoxy of his belief ; he has 
merely proved that being a devoted Catholic is entirely com- 
patible with thorough Americanism and with the friendliest 
attitude toward adherents of other faiths. He has claimed for 
his Church and for himself only such privileges as he freely 
conceded to others under the Constitution and laws. In the 
court of public opinion the Catholic Church has been immensely 
a gainer by his attitude ; this forum is open to all, and the Cath- 
olic advance has been chiefly due to the fact that he has warded 
off the effects of bigotry and misunderstanding, which were 
far too numerous in the early days of the country. 

His life has been a standing refutation of the imaginative 
fear that the Church meditates some kind of assault on Ameri- 
can institutions. Now and then, in the heat of the "A. P. A. 
agitation, someone was heard to say that the Cardinal so fre- 
quently declared his admiration for his country in order to 
bring about a false sense of security and make the way easier 
for a contemplated inroad. This reasoning failed to take into 
account that he reprehended defects in American political and 
social institutions as often as he bestowed praise. He was like 
a sentinel on the tower, always crying the alarm at the approach 


of danger. Of all Americans, he has been, perhaps, the most 
outspoKen in denouncing national faults, and he has not infre- 
quently been the first one of promuience to expose them. 
Throughout his career, however, he has expressed faith in the 
future and in the capacity of the people to right their own 
wrongs by orderly means. He has always held up an ideal and 
tried to guide the footsteps of the people toward it. 

His prompt and vigorous action on the Cahensly question 
arrested the growth of what undoubtedly threatened to be a 
serious centrifugal force in the nation. Even the most asser- 
tive of those who denounced the Catholic Church as being in 
some measure identified with foreign influence, were startled 
by the heroic figure of a prince of her hierarchy standing as a 
champion against the encroachment of European ideas in 
America. No wonder that the "A. P. A." weed wilted in the 
sunlight of this experience. It is due to him, more than to any 
other man, that the vast wave of emigration from Continental 
Europe in the last two decades of the nineteenth century com- 
mingled freely with the placid waters of American nationalism, 
and that the assimilative power of the people withstood a test 
which no nation in all time was ever before called upon to meet. 
The immigrant, while loving not less the land of his nativity, 
cherishes still more the land of his adoption. 

Only by the most determined efforts was he able to place the 
Church in an attitude of friendship toward organized labor; 
but the task, if difficult, was well and thoroughly done. His 
Knights of Labor letter, followed by an encyclical from Leo 
XIII, indorsing his views, obtained the highest sanction for the 
working people in the assertion of their economic rights, and 
has proved a bulwark for them ever since. This the Cardinal 
has considered one of his most substantial achievements. His 
courage in defense of principle was never better shown than in 
his struggle with the authorities at Rome in behalf of the 
Knights; this illustrated the extent of his resources when he 
called them into play. He not only gave the cause of labor 


a tremendous prestige throughout the civilized world, but he 
won to the Church the love of tens of thousands who might 
otherwise have regarded her with far different feelings. In- 
stead of promoting violence, his course has served to prevent it, 
as he predicted; the strike is declining and the peaceful settle- 
ment of wage disputes has made wonderful progress, nowhere 
greater than in the United States. 

His work in North Carolina was arduous and full of pic- 
turesque episodes, and he has regarded this as one of the most 
important periods of his life. It was undoubtedly a great un- 
dertaking to erect a solid foundation for the Church in a State 
of more than a million population, where there were barely 800 
Catholics. He was 34 years old when he went there, and 
brimming with constructive ideas, many of which his youthful 
energy and zeal enabled him to carry out. The people had 
been Presbyterians and Baptists and Methodists for centuries, 
with a sprinkling of other denominations, and his tact and lib- 
erality of view were drawn upon to the utmost in getting an 
audience for the faith he had come to spread. Measured by 
the physical obstacles which he overcame in his pioneer work 
over a large area, where the means of communication were 
poor, his accomplishments in North Carolina were the greatest 
of his life; estimated by the difficulty of his task of diverting 
the current of public opinion, they were also important. It 
was a purely apostolic labor, and as such he has found cause 
for rejoicing in its results ever since. Perhaps it is for this 
reason that he has always placed it so high among the fruitful 
periods of his life. 

Gauged only by the standards of a churchman, his work in 
organizing and presiding as apostolic delegate over the Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore is undoubtedly first. It was this 
which decided Leo XIII to create him a cardinal. Such a 
council must take into its purview the whole history and insti- 
tutions of the Church, for its decrees, when approved by the 
Pontiff, succeed those of every previous council, and are a 


constitution and guide for all the manifold activities of the 
Church in the jurisdiction embraced. Everyone may speak his 
mind freely in a plenary council, and the diversity of view in a 
country like the United States is particularly wide. A secular 
parallel may, perhaps, be found in the convention which framed 
the National Constitution in 1787, which even Washington 
could scarcely prevent from breaking up in disagreement. The 
results of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore established 
clearly the high order of abihty, no less than the statesmanHke 
qualities, which its presiding officer possessed. It was hailed 
on all sides as a triumph of churchmanship and served as a 
model for subsequent councils in other countries. 

But these conspicuous accomplishments, which have attracted 
the attention of the world, should not be permitted to cloud 
with an unfair estimate the more modest labors with which his 
life has been filled. He has been first of all the priest, labor- 
ing for the salvation of souls and never relaxing his self- 
discipline in the school of piety. The simpler and more spir- 
itual duties of his office have always appealed to him most 
powerfully, and no entanglements with the great affairs of the 
world have been sufficient to divert him from the constancy 
and fervor of his devotions. With him religion has been a 
real thing — the greatest reality of life — and he has ever clung 
close to the rigorous Sulpician code he learned at the seminary, 
although engaged in manifold labors that have left an indelible 
stamp upon the fabric of contemporary history. 



Abbelen, Rev. P. M., 241, 242 

Abbott, Kev. Lyman, 294 

Academy of Music, Baltimore, 208 

Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics, 216 

Accession, Vote of, 317 

Adams, President, 81 

Adelphi Theatre, 2 

Adramyttum, Titular Bishopric, 29 

Afifre, Archbishop, 58 

Agulnaldo, 288 

Albany, N. Y., 18, 44 

Alexander VI, Pope, 46 

Alexandria, Va., 68 

All, Ameer, 269 

Alleghany Mountains, 9, 66 

All Saints Day, 112 

"Ambassador of Christ," Cardinal Gib- 
bons' third booli, 305, 306, 307 

American Catholic League, 251 

American College, Rome, Subscriptions 
for, 22 ; Conferences of American Bish- 
ops There, 51, 140 ; Confiscated by 
Italian Government, Afterward Re- 
stored, 104 ; Cardinal Gibbons a Guest 
There, 321, 325 

American Harmony Society, 363 

American Methodist University, 203 

American Protective Association ("A. P. 
A."), Origin and Activity, 249 to 251; 
Opposition to Appropriations for Cath- 
olic Indian Sehoo's, 231, 232 ; Failure 
of Its Efforts, 395, 396 

"Americanism," 211, 234 to 263 

Anarchist Riots, in Chicago, 92, 146 

Anathemas, 101 

Anderson, Mary, 353, 354 

Angell, Geo. T., 363 

Anglican Church, 268, 277 

Annexation, of Spanish Islands to United 
States, 286 to 290 

Anselm, Saint, 326 

Anti-Lottery Committee, 293 

Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Gibbons 
Designated to Preside in that Capacity 
Over Third Plenary Council of Balti- 
more, 101, 132 ; Thanljed by the Coun- 
cil, 105 ; Archbishop Satolli Commis- 
sioned as, 215, 216 ; Elevated to the 
Cardinalate. and Succeeded by Arch- 
bishop Martinelli, 304, 305 

Apostolicity, 70 

Arbitration, as a Substitute for War, 278 

to 280 
Archangel Raphael Society, 237, 238, 239 
Archives, of Baltimore Cathedral, 340 
Ardagn, Bishop of, 80 
Ardagh, Bishop of, 80 
Armenian Massacres, 307 
Asbury, Francis, 347 
Ascension, Feast of, 112 
Asheville, N. C, 39, 43 
Asquith, Herbert H., 326 
Associations, Law of, 335 to 338 
Assumption, Feast of, 112 
Athens, 92 

Augustine, Saint, 326 
Australia, 98 
Authority, of the Catholic Church, 70 ; 

of the Popes, 24,49,50,51 to 58,60,70 
Autun, France, 314 
Avignon, 47 
Azarias, Brother, 137 
Azores, 46 

Ballinrobe, Ireland, 5, 6 

Balloting, for the Election of a Pope, 316 
to 320 

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 18 

Baltimore, Birthplace of Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 1 ; Scene of His Labors, 8, 9 ; See 
of, 22, 23, 26, 42, 71, 78 to 97, 81, 
83, 126, 142 ; Welcoming Receptions to 
Cardinal, 274, 275, 292, 321 to 323, 
326, 327 ; Great Fire in, 339, 340 

Banquets, .attendance of Cardinal Gib- 
bons at, 93 

Baptists, 65, 397 

Barnum's Hotel, 2 

Baronial Courts, 342 

Bavaria, Prince Regent of, 354 

Bayley, Archbishop, His Confidence in 
Father Gibbons, 26 ; Present at Con- 
secration of Future Cardinal as Bish- 
op, 29 ; Associations with Archbishop 
Spalding and Bishop Gibbons, 63 ; Cre- 
ated Archbishop of Baltimore, 64 ; -As- 
sisted by Bishop Gibbons at Ecclesias- 
tical Ceremonies, 71, 72 ; Last Illness 
and Death, 78, 79 ; Tributes to, by 
Archbishop Gibbons, 82, 133 ; Founder 
of Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, 



Bayley, Dr. Richard, 63 
Becker, Bishop. 29, 80 
Bede, Venerable, 326 
Belgium, Primate of at Vatican Council, 
58 59 ; Cardinal Gibbons' Travels in, 
172, 290 ; Universities in, 186 
Belmont, N. C, 44 
Benedictine Order, 44 
Benediction, Apostolic, 192, 193 
Benolt, Canon, 167 
Benson, Archbishop, 268 
Benziger, 360 
Berry, W. H., 347 
Biglietto, 126 
Blretta, 127, 128 
Birmingham, England, 87 
Bishops, Method of Selecting, 111 
Bismarck, Prince, 47 
Black, William, 250 
Blaine, James G., 91, 205 
"Blood Tubs." a Group of the "Know- 
Nothing" Party, 14 
Blue Ridge Mountains, 43 
Bolivia, 276, 277 

Bonaparte, Charles J., Assists in Wel- 
coming Cardinal Gibbons on Return to 
Baltimore, 169, 292, 326 
Bonnat, 360 
Booth, Junius Brutus, 2 
Bordeaux, 314 
Bosnia, Bishop of, 59 
Boston, See of, 126 
Bourget. Paul, 290, 376 
Brahmins, 270 
Brazil, 237 
Brland, M., 337, 338 
Bribery, In Elections, 296 
British-American, The, 250 
Brondel, Bishop, 180 
Brook Farm, 7 
Brothers, Christian, 137 
Brown, Geo. Wm., 17 
Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, 
Baltimore, 348, 349 

Brunnen, Switzerland, 325 

Brvce. James, Archbishop Satolli Com- 
oared to him as Foreign Student of 
American Institutions, 193 ; Speaker 
at Civic Celebration in Cardinal Gib- 
bons' Honor, 382, 389, 390 

Buffalo, N. Y., 225 

Burial, of Catholics, 25 

Butler, Gen. B. F., 20 

Butler, John T., 42 

Butler, Mrs. Mary E.. 42 

Buzzard's Bay, Mass., 250 

Byron, Lord, 321 

Cahensly, Peter, 237, 246 

Cahenslylsm, 234 to 263, 396 

Caiazzo, Bishop of, 56 

Calcutta, 269 

Caldwell, Lina, 203 

Caldwell, Mary Gwendoline, 110, 202, 

Caldwell, Wm. S., 68, 110 

California, 103 

Calixtus, Pope, 142 

Callao, Peru, 277 

Calvert Family, 198 

Calvert, Leonard, 27 

Camerlengo, 314, 315 

Camp Street, New Orleans, 7 

Canada, Cardinal's Parents Emigrated 
There Before Settling In Baltimore, 4 ; 
Its Bishops at Vatican Council, 46 ; 
Apostolic Delegate to, at Conferring of 
Pallium on Archbishop Gibbons, 80 ; 
Third Plenary Council of Baltimore a 
Model for, 98 ; Knights of Labor For- 
bidden in, 149. 150, 160; Ban Against 
Knights of Labor Removed, 162 

Cannon, Joseph G., 382, 389 

Canon Law, 11, 99, 113 

Canterbury, See of, 297 

Canton, Suburb of Baltimore, 13, 14, 15, 

Capitol, at Washington, 72 

Capuchin Fathers, 128 

Carnegie, Andrew, 363 

Carpetbaggers, 32, 66 

Carroll, Archbishop John, Identified with 
Erection of Baltimore Cathedral, 3 ; 
Prayers Framed by, 16, 174 ; Growth 
of Church Since His Time, 80, 81 ; 
Growth of Hierarchy Since, 190 ; Trib- 
ute by Archbishop Ryan, 195 ; Founder 
of Georgetown University, 203 ; Conse- 
cration In Lulworth Castle. 326 

Carroll, Charles, of Carrollton, Died In 
Baltimore Two Years Before Cardinal 
Gibbons* Birth, 2; Gave Site for St. 
Charles College, 9 ; His Father Owned 
Land on Which First Catholic Church 
In Baltimore Was Erected, 72 ; His 
Granddaughter, Miss Emily Harper, 
Gives Reception in Cardinal's Honor, 
136 ; His Great Grandson, John Lee 
Carroll, Presides Over Congress of 
Laymen, 200 

Carroll Hall, Baltimore, 16 

Carroll, John Lee. 200 

Cashel, Archbishop of, 193 

Cass, Lewis, 213 

Castle Gandolfo, 321 

Catechism, 113 



Cathedral, Baltimore, Newly Erected, 3 ; 
Cardinal Gibbons Baptized There, 4 ; 
Congregation Divided by Civil War, 16, 
17 ; Future Cardinal There as Priest, 
18, 22 to 29 ; Consecration of, 71 to 
73 ; Description of, 72 ; Cardinal In- 
vested with Pallium There, 79 to 84 ; 
Thomas C. Jenkins, Oldest Pewholder 
of, 90 ; Sermons of Cardinal In, 93 ; 
Third Plenary Council Held There, 98 
to 107 ; Red Biretta Bestowed on Car- 
dinal There, 127 to 135 ; Cardinal Wel- 
comed on Return from Rome, 168 to 
174, 292, 322, 327 ; Centennial of Hier- 
archy Observed There, 194 ; Mass for 
Dead of the Maine, 281 ; Silver Jubilee 
of Cardinal's Episcopacy Observed, 298 
to 304 ; Centenary of Cathedral, 328 to 

Catholic Club, of Baltimore, 302, 303 

Catholic University of America, Discussed 
at Second Plenary Council of Balti- 
more, 25 ; Plan of Organization Adopt- 
ed by Third Plenary Council, 107 to 
110 ; Cornerstone of School of Sacred 
Sciences Laid, 203, 204 ; Dedication of, 
191, 202 to 206 ; Dr. Conaty Installed 
as Rector, 252, 253 ; Brief from Leo 
XIII, 274, 313; Brief from Plus X, 
320, 324, 325 ; Meeting of Archbishops 
There, 335 ; Losses Through Wagga- 
man Failure, 354, 355 

Centennial, of the American Hierarchy, 
190 to 210 

Cervera, Admiral, 285, 286 

Champlain, Samuel de, 230 

Chant, Gregorian, 112 

Chapelle, Archbishop, 289 

Chaplains, Army and Navy, 285 

Charlemagne, 57, 148. 

Charles I, 342 

Charles of Anjou, 315 

Charles Street, Baltimore, 27, 72, 127. 

Charleston, S. C, 44 

Charlotte, N. C, 34, 42, 44, 74 

Chartran, 360 

Chelsea, Mass., 250 

Cherbourg, 321 

Chesapeake Bay 17, 65, 85 i 

Cheverus, Bishop, 335 y 

Chicago, 178, 214, 264, 276 

Chillon, Castle of, 321 

China, Vicar Apostolic from, 59 ] 

Chinese Exclusion Law, 146 

Chinquepin, N. C, 39 

Christian Brothers, 137 

Christmas, 112 

Cicero, 59 

Cincinnati, Ohio, 9, 109 

Circumcision, Feast of, 112 

City Hall, Baltimore, 191, 207, 282 

City Hospital. Baltimore, 286 

Civic Celebration of June 6, 1911, in Car- 
dinal Gibbons' Honor, 382 to 393 

Civil War, American, Cardinal's Attitude 
During, 11, 12 ; Incidents of His Pas- 
torate While It Was In Progress, 14 ; 
Troubles of the Church During, 22 ; 
Concluded a Short Time Before Vati- 
can Council Summoned, 47 ; Diocese ot 
Richmond Suffered from It, 66 ; Divi- 
sions of Opinion During, 71 ; Change In 
Popular Sentiment Toward the Catho- 
lic Church Since, 195, 198 ; Manv Cath- 
olics Found in the Opposing Armies, 
199 ; Division of Protestant l5enomlna- 
tions During, 272 

Clark, Champ, 382, 388 

Clemenceau, French Premier, 338 

Clement IV, 315 

Cleveland, President, Consulted Cardinal 
Gibbons About Tariff Message, 91 ; Hla 
Praise of the Cardinal, 92, 250, 251 ; 
President When Knights of Labor 
Question Was Settled, 146 ; Cardhial 
with Him at Constitutional Centennial, 
174 ; Jubilee Gifts to Leo XIII, 182 to 
184, 297, 298 ; at Georgetown Univer- 
sity Centennial, 194 ; at Catholic Uni- 
versity, 203 ; Cardinal's Correspond- 
ence with, 354. 

Cloyne, Bishop of, 291 

Cologne, Archbishop of, 124 

Colosseum, 141 

Columbian Exposition, at Chicago. 214. 
215, 264 to 272 

Columbus, Christopher, Association of 
Holy See with His Achievements, and 
Records, 214, 215 : Priests Followed 
His Discoveries, 230 ; Letter of Leo 
XIII on, 264. 265 ; Tribute by Cardinal 
Gibbons to, 266 

Columbus, Knights of, 355 

Commission of Direction, Vatican Coun- 
cil, 51 

Commission of Postulates and Proposi- 
tions, Vatican Council, 51 

Commons, House of, 106 

Communism, 48, 201 

Company Shops, N. C. 43 

Conaty, Bishop Thomas J., 252 

Conclave, Papal, of 1903, 312 to 324 

Concord, N. C, 42, 43 

Concordat, 335 

Concordia Opera House, Baltimore, 200 

Confederacy, Southern, 11, 16, 20, 66 
19, 22, 27 

Confraternities, Religious, 155 

Congo Question, 348, 349 

Congregation of Missionary Priests of St. 

Paul, 8 
Congress, of Catholic Laymen, 191 



Congress, United States, Cardinal a Lis- 
tener to Its Debates, 106 ; Labor Prob- 
lems Before It, 146, 153; Attitude on 
Appropriations to Catholic Indian 
Scliools, 231, 232 ; Cardinal at Presen- 
tation of Sword Voted by It to Admiral 
Dewey, 307, 308 

Conroy, Bishop, 80 

Consecrated Property, 48 

Consistory, Papal, 127, 140 

Constantine, Emperor, 58, 141 

Constitutional Centennial, 174, 176, 182 

Consultors, Diocesan, 111 

Continental Congress, 199 

Continental Sunday, 201 

"Contract System," for Indian Schools, 

Coronado, 176 

Coronation Oath, English, 50 

Corpus Christi Church, Baltimore, 90 

Corrlgan, Archbishop, Present at Con- 
ferring of Pallium on Archbishop Gib- 
bons, 79 ; Consults Him in Reference to 
Convokmg of Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, 100 ; Mentioned as Possible 
Cardinal, 126 ; Gives Imprimatur for 
Elliott's "Life of Father Hecker," 255 ; 
Preaches at Silver Jubilee of Cardi- 
nal's Episcopacy, 299 ; Tribute to, by 
Cardinal Gibbons, at Celebration of 
Centenary of New York Diocese, 367 

Coskery, Rev. Henry B., 30 

Coullie, Cardinal, 314 

Councils, First Plenary, of Baltimore, 
105 ; Second Plenary, of Baltimore, 23, 
24, 25, 26. 98, 103, 109, 202 ; Third 
Plenary, of Baltimore, 98 to 124, 125, 
149, 151, 152. 202, 222, 226, 228, 248, 
313, 397, 398 

Cowpens, Battle of, 72 

Cracovia, Archbishop of, 317 

Crimea, 47 

Crisp, Chas. F., 249 

Croke, Archbishop. 193 

Cromwellian Period, 342 

Crothers, Austin L.. Governor of Mary- 
land, Welcomes Cardinal Gibbons on 
Return to Baltimore After Visit to 
Rome in 1908, 326 : Presides and 
Speaks at Civic Celebration of June 6, 
1911, in Cardinal's Honor, 382, 363, 

Cuba, 280 to 289 

Culpeper, Va., 68 

Curia, Roman, 162 

Curtis, Geo. Wm., 7 

Damasus, Pope, 260 
Darboy, Archbishop, 58 
Dausch, Rev. Michael. 80 
Dechamps, Cardinal, 58 

Declaration of Independence, Its Ideals 
for Worklngmen, 148 ; Reading It in 
Schools Advocated bv Cardinal Gib- 
bons. 307 : Cardinal's View of Its State- 
ment That "All Men Are Created 
Equal," 330 

Depew, Chauncey M., 314 

De Soto, 176 

Detroit, Cruiser, 271 

Detroit, Mich, 9 

Devrey, Admiral, 307, 308 

"Discourses and Sermons," Cardinal Gib- 
bons' Last Book, 369, 370, 371, 372 

Dlssez, Rev. Francois P., 11 

Divorce, Condemned by Congress of Lay- 
men. 201, 207 ; Denounced by Cardinal 
Gibbons, 364, 365, 372 

Dogmatic Theology, 113 

Dolan, Rev. James, 13 

Domenec, Bishop, 29 

Dominicans, 128 

Donahue, Bishop, 190, 334 

Donnelly, John J., 16 

Dougherty, Daniel, 200, 201 

Drexel, Francis A., 230 

Drexel, Mother M. Katharine, 231 

Driving Accident, Cardinal Gibbons' Life 
in Danger, 340 

Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, 340, 341 

Dubois, Bishop, 335 

Dubourg, Bishop, 199, 335 

Duffy, Father, 8 

Dufoe, Father, 8 

Dupanloup, Bishop, 58 

Durham, English County, 342 

Ecclesiastical Processions, 29, 79, 80, 128 

Eccleston, Archbishop, 3, 72, 82, 133 

Ecuador, 276, 277 

Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Its 
Origin and Sessions, Bishop Gibbons' 
Experiences There, 46 to 61 ; Value of 
His Observations There. 103 ; Decrees 
Regarding Training of Priests, 108 

Edenton, N. C, 41 

Edgbaston, England, 87 

Edison, Thomas A., Views on Immor- 
tallty, 373, 374 

Education, 25, 113, 117 to 123 

Elbe, River, 237 

Elkins, Stephen B., 314 

Ellicott City, Md., 9, 72 

Elliott, Rev. Walter, 254 

Embert, John R., 14 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 7 

Emmitsburg, Md., 70, 109 

England, Bishop, 133 



England, Church of, 64, 65 

Erie, Pa., 225 

Eucharlstic Congresses, Cardinal Obtains 
a Brief from Leo XIII in Behalf of 
One Held in 1895 In Washington, 274 ; 
Preaches at Congress of 1908 in Lon- 
don, 325, 326 ; Preaches at Congress of 
1910 in Montreal, 368, 369 

Eulate, Captain, 286 

Eutaw Street Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Baltimore, 347 

Examiners, of Diocesan Clergy, 111 

Extreme Unction, 70 

Fairfax, Va., 68 

"Faith of Our Fathers," Cardinal Gib- 
bons' First Book, 69, 70, 71, 95, 188 

Falconlo, Archbishop, 332, 334, 367, 378 

Faribault Plan, 222 to 226, 228 

Farley, Archbishop, 332 

Fayette Street, Baltimore, 3 

Fayettevllle, N. C, 74 

Feasts, of Obligation, 112 

Feehan, Archbishop, 129, 178, 269 

Federal Army, 20, 32, 66 

Federal Hill, Baltimore, 20 

Fell's Point, Baltimore, 1, 13 

Fifth Maryland Regiment, 286 

Fifth Regiment Armory Baltimore, 382 

Figaro, 291 

Filipinos, 287, 288, 289 

Fire, of 1904 in Baltimore, 339, 340 

Fitzgerald, Bishop, 56, 80 

Flaget, Bishop, 336 

Florence, Archbishop of, 52 ; Council of, 
52, 55 

Florence, Wm. J., 353 

Florida, 264 

Foley, Bishop John S., 9, 140 

Foley, Bishop Thomas, 29, 30, 79, 80 

Fordham, N. Y., 63 

Forest, Edwin, 353 

Foster, John W., 214, 215 

Ifountain Inn, 2 

France, Ecclesiastical Laws in Louisiana 
Territory, 98 ; Travels of Cardinal Gib- 
bons in, 172, 275, 290 ; Attitude Pre- 
vious to Spanish-American War, 284 ; 
Custom of Allowing Veto in Papal Con- 
claves, 317 ; Socialism in, 328 ; Ameri- 
can Hierarchy's Opposition to Repres- 
sive Legislation In, 335 to 338 

Franco-Prussian War, 57 

Franciscans, 128 

Franklin, Benjamin, 199, 391 

Franzelln, Cardinal, 102 

French Academy, 58 

Friars, in the Philippines, 287, 288, 289 
Frledenwald, Joseph, 360 
Fugitive Slave Riots, 11 

Gadd, Mgr., 193 

Gagliardi, 360 

Gaitley, Rev. John T., 140 

Galway, Ireland, 6 

Cans, Edgar H., 275 

Garfield, President, 88, 89 

Garibaldi, 46 

Garrett, John W., 18 

Garrison, Wm. Lloyd, 263 

Gaston, N. C, 43 

Gavan, Rer. P. C, 314 

Gay Street, Baltimore, 3, 4 

George, Henry, 148 

Georgetown University, 193, 194, 203 

General Wayne Inn, Baltimore, 1 

Geneva, Lake of, 321 

Gibbon, Gen. John, 181 

Gibbons, Thomas, Father of Cardinal, 
46 ; Bridget, Mother of Cardinal, 4, 
8, 90 ; Mary, Sister of Cardinal, 8 ; 
John T., Brother of Cardinal, 8, 91 ; 
Catherine, Sister of Cardinal, 8 

Glllow, Bishop, 193 

Gilmour, Bishop, 204, 205 

Gladstone, Wm. E., 297 

Glennon, Archbishop, 333 

Gordonsville, Va., 68 

Gorman, Arthur P., Sr., 302 

Gotti, Cardinal, 318 

Gross, Archbishop, Present at Conferring 
of Pallium on Archbishop Gibbons, 80 ; 
Cardinal Gibbons Confers the Pallium 
on Him, 176, 180 

Gross, Rev. Mark S., Priest at St. Thomas' 
Church, Wilmington, N. C, 31 ; Wel- 
comes Bishop Gibbons to North Caro- 
lina, 31 ; Receives Letter from Dr. J. 
C. Monk, Who Afterward Founds a 
Church, 36; Tribute to Bishop Gibbons' 
Interest In Schools, 43, 44 ; Conversa- 
tion Which Led to the Writing of "The 
Faith of Our Fathers," 69 ; Descrip- 
tion of Bishop Gibbons' labors in North 
Carolina in 1872-76, 73, 74, 75 ; Ap- 
pointed Vicar Apostolic, but Declines, 
86, 87 ; Brother of Archbishop of Ore- 
gon, 176 

Grant, President, 230 

"Graft," in Public Office, 348 

Gray Gables, 250 

Great Bahama Island, 6 

Great Britain, 284 

Greek Language, 112 

Greensboro, N. C, 43 

Greenville, N. C, 35 



Gregorian Chant, 112 
Gregory X, 316 
Gregory XIII, 206 
Grimes, Wm., 41 
Guinness, H. Grattan, 348 

Hagan, Mrs. Peter, 16 

Hague Conference, of 1899, on Peace 
Movement, 364 

Haid, Bishop, 45 

Hale, Edward Everett, 348 

Halifax, N. C, G8 

Hancock, Winfield Scott, 201 

Harlem, N. Y., 163 

Harmony Society, American, 363 

Harper, Miss Emily, 136 

Harrison, President, Cardinal's Comments 
on Tranquillity of the American People 
Following the Campaign in Which He 
Was Elected, 188 ; Attends Dedication 
of School of Sacred Sciences at Catho- 
lic University, 205. 206 : Receives Arch- 
bishop Satolli, 212 ; Thanks Cardinal 
Gibbons for Opposition to Cahenslyism, 
246. 247 ; Correspondence of Cardinal 
Gibbons with. 354 

Havana, Cuba, 280 

Health of Cardinal Gibbons, 15 

Healy, 360 

Hearn, Samuel B., 17 

Hecker, Rev. Isaac Thomas, Helps to 
Turn Future Cardinal's Thoughts To- 
ward the Priesthood, 7, 8 ; Views of 
the Church's Outlook Following the 
Vatican Council, 60. 61 ; Praised bv 
Archbishop Ryan, 195 : Controversy 
About "Americanism" Centers Around 
His Biography, 254 to 262 

Heiss, Archbishop, 179 

Helena, Montana, 180 

Hennepin, 176 

Hennessy, Archbishop, 104 

Henry, Patrick, 65 

Henry VIII, 50, 342 

"Heritage, Our Christian," Cardinal Gib- 
bons' Second Book, 188, 189, 208 

Heuisler, Charles W., 322 

Hewit, Rev. Augustine, 7 

Hickory, N. C, 44 

Hierarchy, Centennial of American, 190 
to 210 

Highlandtown, Suburb of Baltimore, 14 

High License, for the Sale of Liquor, 208, 
209, 210 

Hodges, James, Mayor of Baltimore, 169 

Holland, Travels of Cardinal Gibbons in, 
172, 290 

Holy Cross Church, Baltimore, 92 
Holy Office, Congregation of the, 146, 149, 

Holy Year, 289 

Honduras, Lottery in, 295 

Hopkins, Johns, 2 

Houlgate, Normandy, 821 

House of Representatives, 249 

Howard, John Eager, 72 

Howell & Sons, 4 

Ilufifer, Leopold, 321 

Hughes, Archbishop, 63, 125, 133, 367 

Hunt, Rev. Robert, 64 

Images, Sacred, 70 

Immaculate Conception, 112, 176 

Immigrants, to America, 107, 177, 178, 

Immortalitv, Cardinal Gibbons' Reply to 
Edison, 374, 375, 376 

Immortale Dei, Papal Encyclical, 134 

"Immortals," Forty, 58 

Improved Order of Red Men, 351 

Incarnation, Doctrine of, 70 

Independence, Declaration of. Its Ideals 
for Workingmen, 148 ; Reading of It in 
Schools Advocated by Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 307 ; Cardinal's View of Its State- 
ment that "All Men Are Created 
Equal," 330 

Indian Schools, Catholic, 230 to 233 

Indiction, Bulf of, 49 

Indulgences, Doctrine of, 70 

Infallibility, of Teaching Office of Roman 
Pontiff, Declaration of Second Plenary 
Council of Baltimore on, 24, 54 ; Con- 
sidered and Promulgated as a Doctrine 
by the Vatican Council, 49 to 60 ; Bish- 
op Gibbons' Votes on, 56 ; Father Beck- 
er's Views of Its Importance, 254 ; 
Leo XIII on, 258 

Innspruck, 87 

Inquisition, 71, 146 

Institute, Catholic, of Paris, 256 

Insurgents, Cuban, 283, 284 

Interstate Commerce Law, 146 

Ireland, Archbishop, at Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, 104 ; With Car- 
dinal Gibbons In Rome, 140, 150 ; Wel- 
come to Cardinal In St. Paul, Minn., 
179, 180 ; Sermon at Centennial Cele- 
bration of American Hierarchy, 196 to 
198 ; Address to Congress of Laymen, 
202 ; Labors in Behalf of Temperance, 
208 ; Attitude on Relations Between the 
United States and the Vatican, 212, 
213 ; "Faribault Plan" for Schools, 222 
to 226 ; Activity Against Cahenslyism, 
241 to 243; Attacked by "A. P. A.," 
249; Letter to Leo XIII on "American- 
ism," 261, 262; Efforts in Behalf of 
Papal Mediation to Prevent Spanish- 
American War, 283, 284 ; Sermon on 
"The Church and the Age" at Celebra- 
tion of Silver Jubilee of Cardinal's 
Episcopacy, 300 to 302 



Ireland, Birthplace of Cardinal Gibbons' 
Parents, 4 ; Education of the Cardinal 
Begun There, 56 ; Visited by the Car- 
dinal, 88, 172. 290, 291 : Plenary Coun- 
cil of, 98 ; Universities There, 186 

Irremovable Rectors, 111 

Isabella, Queen of Spain, 2G4 

Italy, 172 

Jackson, Gen. Thomas J. ("Stonewall"), 

Jackson, President Andrew, 4, 199 

Jacobini, Cardinal, 102, 126 

Jacobhis, 337 

Jamestown Island, Va., 64, 65 

Janopolls, Archbishopric of, 78 

Janssens, Archbishop, 344 

Jay, John, 252 

Jefferson, President, 81 

Jenkins. Rev. Oliver L . 9 : Thomas C, 
90 ; Michael, 90 ; Francis de Sales, 321 

Jesus, Society of, 83, 85, 128, 335 

Jews, 93, 130 

Johns Hopkins University, 109 

Johnson, President, 25 

Johnson, Reverdy, 2 

Johnston, Gen. George D., 293 

Jollet. 176 

Josephite Fathers, 167 

Jubilees of Cardinal Gibbons ; Sliver 
Jubilee as Priest. 127 ; Silver Jubilee 
as Bishop. 208 to 304 ; Silver .Tubilee 
as Archbishop, 328 ; Golden Jubilee as 
Priest and Silver Jubilee as Cardinal, 
382 to 393 

Julian Calendar, 266 

Julius, Pope, 142 

Kaln, Archbishop, 79, 289, 304, 378 

Kane, Geo. P., 17 

Kansas, 209 

Katzer, Archbishop, 244 

Keane, Archbishop. 86, 104, 140, 150, 
203, 241, 252, 262 

Keller, Marie D., 360 

Kelly, Bishop, 65 

Kelly, Wm. L., 179 

Kennedy, Capt. William, 27 

Kenrlck, Archbishop Francis P., of Bal- 
timore. 11, 15, 22, 58, 72, 82, 127, 
131, 135 

Kenrlck, Archbishop Peter R., of St. 
Louis. 10r>. 128, 129, 132, 133, 149, 
194, 223, 304 

Kerchner, Col. F. W., 31 

Ketcham, Rev. Wm. H., 231 

Klein, Abbe Felix, 376, 377, 378 

King Rev. Geo. W.. 273 

King. Rufus, 213 

Klots, Alfred P., 360 

Knights, Catholic, 135 

Knights of Columbus, 355 

Knights of Labor Question, 114, 146 to 

160, 351, 362, 396 
Knights of the Maccabees, 351, 362 
-Knownothings," 3, 14, 158, 199, 249 
Knox, Philander C, 363 
Labor, Knights of, 114, 146 to 166, 396 
Lafayette, 335 

Lake Mohonk, N. Y., Peace Conferences 
There, 362 

Landowners, Catholic, in Maryland, 342 

La Savoie, Steamship, 314 

Latin Language, 70, 112 

Latrobe, Benjamin H., 72 

Latrobe, Ferdinand C, 207, 302 

Law of Associations, French, 335 to 338 

Laymen, Congress of, 191, 198 to 202, 

Lazaretto Light, Baltimore, 1 

Lazarlsts, 128 

Leahy, Archbishop, 58 

Lecot, Cardhial, 314, 318 

LedochowskI, Cardinal, 226, 247, 274 

Lee, Gen. G. W. C, 67 

Lee, Rev. Thomas S., 127, 140, 191 

Lee, Robert E., 20, 67, 351, 363 

Legislature, of Maryland, 17, 26, 350 ; of 
Virginia, 69 

Lenten Devotions, 96 

Lenten Regulations, 42 

Lepanto, Archbishop of, 193, 215 

Leopold, King of Belgium, 348 

Leo XIII, Pope, Cardinal Gibbons' Im- 
pressions of Him at Vatican Council, 
59 ; Elevation to Papacy, 86 ; Cardi- 
nal's Visits to, 87 ; Summons Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, 100, 101, 
102 ; Views on Masonic Order, 122, 
123 ; Decides to Bestow Red Hat on 
Cardinal Gibbons, 126, 127 ; Quoted by 
Cardinal In Address in Church of San- 
ta Maria in Trastevere, 142 ; Encycli- 
cal on Labor, 103, 164 ; Cardinal's Im- 
pressions of Him in 1887, 172, 173 ; 
President Cleveland's Jubilee Gifts to, 
182 to 184, 297 to 298 ; Cardinal's 
Tribute to in Jubilee Sermon. 187 ; 
Letter on Centennial of American Hier- 
archy, 191, 192, 193; Decision to Ap- 
point Archbishop SatollI Apostolic Del- 
egate, 211 to 216. 228 ; Sustains "Fari- 
bault Plan," 226 ; Receives Cahensly 
Memorials,238to241 ; Declares Against 
Cahenslvism, 246 ; Letter on "Ameri- 
canism," 256 to 260; Letter on Colum- 
bus, 264, 265 ; Encyclical to American 
Bishops, 271, 272 : Receives Cardinal 
Gibbons in Rome, 274, 289, 290 ; Satis- 
faction with Adjustments in Philip- 
pines, Cuba and Porto Rico, 288, 289; 
Illness and Death, 312 to 314 



Lexington Street, Baltimore, 3 

Lexington, Va., 67 

L'Homme, Rev. Francois, 10 

Liberty, Religious, 71, 142. 143; Civil, 

71. 73, 142, 143 
Light Street, Baltimore, 15 
Lima, Peru, 277 
Lincoln, President, 18, 20 
Llncolnton, N. C, 43 
Liquor Question, 208, 209, 210 
Little Sisters of the Poor, 69, 110 
Liturgy, 113 

Liverpool, England, 6, 127, 300 
Locust Point, Baltimore, 15 
Logue, Cardinal. 279, 280, 300, 363, 367, 

368, 369 
Loire, River, 235 

London, Eng'.and, 166, 291 

Long Island, 343 

Los Angeles, Cal., 181 

Lottery, Louisiana, 293, 294, 295 

Loughlln, Bishop, 80 

Louisiana. 177, 293, 294. 295 

Louisiana Purchase Exposition. 309. 310, 
311. 321 

Louisville. Bishopric of, 22 

Louvain, University of, 10, 109, 166, 173 

L'Ouverture, 1 

Loyola College, Baltimore, 285 

Lucerne, 238, 314, 325 

Lulworth Castle, England, 87, 326 

Lutherans, 65 

Luzon, 287 

Lyman, Rev. Dwlght E., 80 

Lynch, Bishop, 79. 80, 81 

Lynching, Cardinal's Views on, 361 

Lyon, Braxton. 17 

Lyons, University of, 206 

Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, 334 

Maccabees, Knights of, 351, 362 

MacCormack, Bishop, 6 

Mackubln, Florence, 360 

Madison, President, 68, 81 

Magnlen, Very Rev. A. L., 140, 356, 358, 

Mahool, J. Barry, 326 
Maignen. Abbe, 256 
Mail, of the Cardinal, 354 
Maine, Battleship, Blowing Up of, 280, 

281. 284 
Mallnes, Archbishop of, 58 
Malloy, John, 13 
Manila, 287, 289 

Manning, Cardinal, at Vatican Council, 
58, 60 : Sympathy with Cardinal Gib- 
bons' Efforts on Labor Question, 149, 
150, 157, 163, 166 ; Visited by Cardinal 
Gibbons, 166, 167 ; Invited to Centen- 
nial Celebration of American Hier- 
archy, 193 ; Death of. 296. 297 ; His 
Broad Sympathies. 301 
Manual of Prayers. 113 
Marechal. Archbishop. 3. 72, 82, 133 
Marine Band, National. 135 
Marquette, Father, 176 
Marriage, Catholic View of, 112, 370, 371 
Marriages, Mixed. 25, 112 
Marseilles. France, 72 ; 

Marshall, Fort, 14 
Marshall, John, Chief Justice of the 

United States, 68 
Marshall Street, Richmond, Va., 68 
Martin, James, 340, 341 
Martin, James L., 213 
Martin, Luther, 2 
Martinelli, Cardinal, 305, 332, 359 
Martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul, 55 
Mary Help Abbey, 44 
Maryland, Catholic Population of. 3. 142 ; 
Carried by the "Knownothings." 14 ; 
Legislature of, 17, 26, 221 ; State of 
Religion In, 66 ; Birthplace of Religious 
Toleration in America, 85, 131, 198 
Masonic Order, 25, 122, 154 
Massachusetts, 198 
Massacre, of St. Bartholomew, 71 
Massacres, Armenian. 307 
Mass, Sacrifice of the. 70, 99 
Mathew, Father, 208, 297 
Matrimonial Dispensations, 25 
"May Laws," 124 
Mayo, Irish County, 4 
McCallen, Rev. J. A., 191 
McCloskev, Cardinal. 58. 75, 78, 79, 100, 

101, 125, 133, 313, 367 
McColgan, Mgr.. 171, 299 
McDowell County, N. C. 43 
McGill, Bishop. 29. 62, 63. 74, 133 
McHale. Archbishop. 6 
McHenry, Fort. 17, 18, 66 
McKee, "Baby," 246 
McKInlcy, President, 284, 285, 286, 287, 

290, 308, 354 
McLane, Robert M., 321 
McMahon Hall, Catholic University, 276 
McMahon, Rev. James M., 276 
McManus. Mgr.. 31 
McNamara. Capt., 32. 41 
McNamara. Rev. J. V.. 42 
Mecca, 330 



Mediation, Offered by Leo XIII to Pre- 
vent War Betweeen the United States 
and Spain, 283, 284 
Madrid, 284 

Merry del Val, Cardinal, 315 

Messmer, Archbishop, 333 

Methodists, 65, 93, 203, 272, 276, ?77, 

Mlddleburg, Va., 68 

Mill Hill College, England. 167 

Milwaukee, Wis., 179, 225, 241, 244, 329 

Minnesota, 229 

Mississippi River, 9, 85 

Modem Woodmen, Order of, 351, 362 

Mohammedans, 270 

Mohonk, Lake, Peace Conferences There, 

Monastic Orders, 48 

Monlteur de Rome, 151, 162 

Monk, Dr. .T. C, 36. 38 

Monroe, President, 68 

Montalembert, Vicompte, 206 

Montez D'Oca, Bishop, 193 

Montreal, Eucharistic Congress in, 368 

Moore, Bishop, 79 

Moore's, N. C, 43 

Moral Theology, 113 

Morgantown, N. C, 43 

Mormonlsm, 189 201 

Morris, Col. John T., 183 

Morton, Levi P., 205 

Mothers, Congress of. Cardinal's Letter 
to, 365 

Mount St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, 
Md.. 109 

Mt. Vernon Place Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Baltimore, 349 

Muccioll, Count, 127, 129 

Muller, Ury, 360 

Murray, Bishop John G., 383 

Music, in Church, 112, 200 

Naples, 289 

Napoleon I, 169 

Napoleon III, 47, 57. 58 

Napoleonic Wars, 237 

Nassau, Island, 6 

"National Bishops," 239, 240. 241 

National League for the Protection of 

American Institutions, 252 
Nation, Mrs. Carrie, 209 
Naturalism, 48 
Naval Academy, U. S., 285 
Navarro, Mrs., 353 
Navy, United States, 145 
Neale, Archbishop, 8, 82, 183 

Negro Question, Bishop Gibbons' Observa- 
tion of "Reconstruction" Era in North 
Carolina, 32, 33 ; Education of Priests 
for Missionary Work Among Negroes, 
167, 168 ; Attitude of the Church To- 
ward the Slaves, 342, 343; Cardinal's 
Denunciation of Lynching, 349, 350 ; 
His Views on Aspects of Race Question, 
361, 362 

Newark, Bishopric of, 63, 126 

New Bern, N. C, 32, 34, 40, 41 

Newman, Cardinal, 87 

New Orleans, Cardinal Gibbons' Early 
Life There, 6 to 9 ; Death of His Moth- 
er There, 90 ; Gifts Presented to Him 
at Public Reception. 181 ; Catholic Pa- 
triotism in, 199 ; Cardinal's Visits to, 
339, 340, 344 

Newton Grove N. C, 36. 37, 38 

New York, See of, 63, 126, 367, 368 

New Zealand, 300 

Nihilism, 201 

Nina, Cardinal, 87 

Noble Guards, 127, 129 

Norfolk. Duke of, 326 

Norfolk, Va., 65 

North American Review, 58, 295, 349, 361 

North Carolina, Vicariate Apostolic of ; 
Father Gibbons Selected for, 23, 24 ; 
His Labors and Experiences in, 29 to 
45, 397 ; Administrator of, 63 ; Lack 
of Immigration to, 65 ; Bishop Gib- 
bons' Work in. After His Elevation to 
the See of Richmond, 73 to 75 ; Work 
of Bishop Keane and Father Gross 
There, 86, 87 

North Point, Battle of, 66 

Northrop, Bishop, 34, 40, 87 

Notre Dame College, Baltimore, 341 

Nozaleda, Archbishop, 289 

Nugent, Rev. James, 208, 300 

O'Conneli. Bishop D. J., 103, 107, 140, 
141, 151, 183, 193, 256, 262 

O'Conneli, Daniel, 4 

O'Conneli, Rev. J. J., 44 

O'Conneli, Rev. Lawrence P., 34, 39, 40 

Odd Fellows, 25 

O'Ferrall, Bishop, 206 

O'Gorman, James A., 314 

O'Hagan, Dr., 35 

O'Hara, Bishop, 29 

Ohio River, 9, 85 

Oreglia, Cardinal, 314 

•'Our Christian Heritage," Cardinal Gib- 
bons' Second Book, 188, 189, 208 

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Church, Bal- 
timore. 15 



Packenham, General, 199 

Pallium, 79, 81, 86, 176 

Pan-Ilellenism, 237 

Pan-Germanism, 237 

Pantheism, 24 

Papal Infallibility (of Teaching Office), 
Declaration of Second Plenary Council 
of Baltimore on, 24, 54 ; Considered 
and Promulgated as a Doctrine by the 
Vatican Council, 49 to 60 ; Bishop Gib- 
bons' Votes on, 56 ; Father Becker's 
Views of Its Importance, 254 ; Leo 
XIII on. 258 

Parades. 202 

Paret, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal 
Diocese of Maryland, 347 

Paris, France, Sulpician Fathers Come 
from to Train Priests in America, 10 ; 
Cardinal Entertained There, 140; Ad- 
dress in Behalf of University of, Pre- 
sented to Catholic University of Amer- 
ica, 206 ; Cardinal Gibbons Observes 
Legislation Regarding the Church of 
France. 290 ; Cardinal Leaves There 
for Rome to Take Part in Papal Con- 
clave of 1903. 314 ; Address of Ameri- 
can Hlerarchv on Repressive Church 
Legislation, 335 to 338 

Parliament of Religions. 264, 268 to 271 

Parochial Schools. 16, 71 

Parsons. Wm. H., 252 

Passionists, 31 

Passion Play, 87 

Pastoral Letter on Christian Education, 

Patapsco River, 1, 15 

Paten, 77 

Patrick, Saint. 326 

Paulist Fathers. 8, 254, 261 

Peabody, George, 2 

Peace Movement. 278 to 280, 351, 352, 
362. 363 

Pecci. Cardinal (Afterward Leo XIII), 
59. 319, 320 

Pedestrian, Cardinal Gibbons as, 17 

Penance, 70 

Pennsylvania, 142 

Pericles. 92 

Perraud, Cardinal. 314 

Persecution, for Religion, 70 

Peru, 276, 277 

Perugia. Diocese of, 216 

Petersburg, Va., 65, 67, 69 

Peter's Pence, 162 

Peter the Hermit, 148 

Peyton Mansion, Wilmington, N. C, 44 

Philippine Islands, 287 to 291, 307, 337, 

Philosophy, 11, 112 

Pilgrims to Rome, 320, 323. 325 

Pinkney, William, 2 

Pinzon, 264 

Plus VI, 258 

Pius VII, 142, 367 

Pius IX, Pope, Convocation of Vatican 
Council, 46 to 49 ; Address to, by Bish- 
ops in 1867, 55 ; Loss of Temporal 
Power, 57 ; Death of, 79, 80, 81 ; 
Reigned 32 Years, 312 

Plus X, Pope, Election of, 314 to 320; 
Early ..icts as Pontiff, 320 to 325 ; Let- 
ter to Cardinal Gibbons on Cent^^nary 
of Baltimore Cathedral, 831, 332 

Plenary Councils of Baltimore, First, 105 ; 
Second, 23. 24, 25, 26, 98, 103, 109, 
202; Third, 98 to 124, 125, 149, 151, 
152. 202. 222, 226, 228, 248, 313, 397, 

Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., 294 

Plymouth, N. C, 40, 43 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 2 

Population, Cathollc»of the United State?, 
3, 81, 190 

Portland, Oregon, 176, 180 

Porto Rico, 287, 288, 291, 370 

Potomac River, 06, 85 

Powderly, Terence V., 148, 149, 153 

Pratt, Enoch, 2 

Prayer, Sermon on, 89 

Prayers, Manual of, 113 

Presbyterians, 65, 272, 397 

Press, American, 138, 296 

Press, Catholic, 200 

Preston, James H., Mayor of Baltimore, 
382, 383, 390 

Priests, Duties and Traintag of, 24, 111, 
112, 116, 117 

Primacy, of Peter, 70 

Prize Fights, Cardinal's Views on, 363, 

Processions, Ecclesiastical, 29, 79, 80, 128 

Procura of St. Sulpice, Rome, 289, 314, 

Prohibition Party, 347 

Propaganda, Congregation of. Aid to Vi- 
cariate of North Carolina. 42 ; Juris- 
diction in United States. 99 212 ; Con- 
ferences of American Bishops. 102 ; 
Cardinal Gibbons' Letter to. on Knights 
of Labor, 151 to 161 ; Decision on Fari- 
bault Plan, 226; Letters to, on the 
Cahensly Question. 241 to 243; Con- 
ference of Cardinal with. 274 

Property, Church, 111, 113 

Protestant Episcopal Church. 203 

Provincial Council of 1829, in Baltimore, 

Puck. Comic Journal. 92, 163 
Purcell, Archbishop, 78, 133 
Purcell, John B., 67 



Quakers, 93 

Quebec, Archbishop of, 141 

Queenstown, Ireland, 291 

Quoit Pitching, Cardinal Gibbons' Skill 
in, 343 

Rablda, Convent of, 264 

"Race Suicide," 366, 367 

Raleigh, N. C, 41, 42, 68, 74 

Raleigh, Sir Walter 65 

Rampolla, Cardinal, Letter of, to Cardi- 
nal Gibbons on Centennial of American 
Hierarchy, 208 ; Letter Requesting 
Loan of Columbian Relics Transmitted 
Through Him, 214 ; His Reply, 215 ; 
Leo XIII Addresses Letter, Through 
Him to Cardinal, Declaring Against 
"National Bishops," 246 ; Cardinal Gib- 
bons Sends Him Report of President 
Harrison's Congratulations on the De- 
feat of Cahenslyism, 247 ; Correspond- 
ence with Cardinal Gibbons Regarding 
Marriage Laws of South American 
Countries, 276, 277 : Offers Mediation 
In Behalf of Leo XIII Previous to 
Spanish-American War, 283 ; Voted for 
In Papal Conclave of 1903, 317, 318 

Rationalism. 48 

Raymond, Wm. C, 7, 8 

Rayner, Isldor, 382 

Reardon, Rev. Wm. A., 191 

Reconstruction, in Southern States, 32, 
33, 66, 167 

Rectors, Irremovable, 111 

Rectory, St. Bridget's Church, Baltimore, 
16, 18, 19 ; St. Thomas' Church, Wil- 
mington, N. C, 34, 35 

Redemptorists, 244 

Red Hat, 140, 150 

Red Men, Improved Order of, 251, 362 

Redwood, Archbishop, 300 

Reformatory Institutions, 97 

Regalism, 47 

Relics, Columbian, of the Vatican, 214 

Religions, Parliament of, 264, 268 to 271 

Religious Orders, 253, 254 

Retreats, Spiritual, 112 

Resluence, Baltimore Archieplscopal, 27, 
79, 149. 216 

Revolution, American, 64, 65, 81, 85, 351, 

Richard, Cardinal, 256, 314, 335, 337 
Richmond, Diocese of, 62 to 77, 86, 87 
Ring, Father, 300 
Rlordan, Archbishop, 181 
Robber, Cardinal Gibbons' Adventure 
with, 68 

Rochambeau, Count, 27 
Rochester, N. Y., 225 
Bock Hill College, Md., 137 

Rocky Mountains, 147 

Rodgers, Wm. H., 17 

Rome, Vatican Council Sessions, 46 to 
61 ; Visits of Cardinal Gibbons to, 87, 
88, 100 to 104, 140 to 165, 274, 314 to 
321, 325 ; Consistory at which Cardinal 
Was Elevated to Sacred College, 127 ; 
Jubilees of Leo XIII, 182 to 184; Mr. 
Taft's Visit to, 288 ; Papal Conclave ot 
1903, 314 to 320 

Rooker, Rev. Frederick Z., 299 

Rooney, John J., 5 

Roosevelt Family, 63 

Roosevelt, President, at Catholic Univer- 
sity of St. Louis with Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 311 ; "Muckrake" Speech, 332 ; 
Cardinal's Correspondence with, 354, 
364 ; Cardinal Joins in Publicly Con- 
demning "Race Suicide," 366 ; Speech 
at Civic Celebration In Cardinal's 
Honor, 385 to 387 

Root, Elihu, 388 

Russia, 237, 284 

Russo-Byzantine Architecture, 72 

Ryan, Archbishop, at Third Plenary Coun- 
cil of Baltimore, 104 ; Sermon at Be- 
stowal of Red Biretta on Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 129 to 131 ; Address at Presen- 
tation of President Cleveland's Jubilee 
Gift to Pope, 183 ; Sermon at Centen- 
nial Celebration of American Hier- 
archy, 194 to 196 ; Sermon at Centen- 
nial Celebration of Baltimore Cathe- 
dral, 332, 333 ; Last Illness and Death, 
359, 360 

Sacred College, Cardinal McCloskey's Ele- 
vation, 75 ; Cardinal Gibbons' Estimate 
of the Labors of Its Members, 102 ; Ele- 
vation of Cardinal Gibbons. 125 to 127 ; 
Conclave of 1903, 314 to 320 

Sacred Sciences, School of, at Catholic 
University, 191, 202 to 206 

Sadowa, Battle of, 47 

Sala Regia, 140 

Salem, Witches of, 198 

Salisbury, N. C, 74 

Salpolnte, Archbishop, 149 

Samson, 173 

San Francisco, 99, 181 

Santa Maria in Trastevere,Titular Church 
of Cardinal Gibbons In Rome, 141, 145, 
146, 290 

Saratoga Springs, N. Y., 252 

Saratoga Street, Baltimore, 72 

Sarto, Cardinal (Afterward Plus X), 318 
to 320 



Satolli, Cardinal, Papal Representative 
at Celebration of American Hierarchy, 
193 ; Prediction that a Pope Will Some 
Day VMsit America, 198 ; Address at 
Catholic University, 205 ; Reports on 
America to Leo XIII, 212 ; Commis- 
sioned as Apostolic Delegate, 215, 216 ; 
Consideration of School Question, 217, 
226 to 228 ; Target for "A. P. A.," 250 ; 
His Work Praised by Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 274 ; at Silver Jubilee of Cardi- 
nal's Episcopacy, 299 ; Elevated to 
Sacred College, 304, 305 ; Participation 
in Papal Conclave, 319 
Saturday Review, London, 3S8 
Savannah, Ga, 225 
Savole, Steamship, 314 
Schemata, of Vatican Council, 51 
Schoolmen, 58 
School Question, 25, 113, 117 to 122, 201, 

211 to 233, 370 
Schroeder, Mgr., 206 
Schwarzenberg, Cardinal, 59 
Sciences, Natural, 112 
Scotland, 186 

Secret Societies (See Societies, Secret). 
Sedia Gestatorla, 312 
Seine, River, 335 
Senate of Maryland, 26 
Sesqui-Centennlal, Baltimore. 88 
Sewerage Loan, Baltimore, 340 
Shanahan, Bishop, 29, 80 
Sharpe, Horatio, 198 
Shenandoah Valley, Va., 65 
Sheridan, Rev. Wilbur P., 349 
Sherman, Gen. Wm. T., 278 
Sherman, James S., 382, 388 
Shriver, B. F., 341 to 343 
Shriver, T. Herbert, 341 to 343 
Slbour, Archbishop, 58 
Sillery, Gen., 
Simeoni, Cardinal, 87, 88, 102, 151, 212, 

243, 297 
Slmor, Cardinal, 59 
Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, 231 
Sisters of Charity, 09 79 
Sisters of Mercy, 44 
Slstlne Chapel, 314, 316 
Slavery Question, 100 
Smith, John Walter, 382 
Smyth, Mrs. Bridget, 14 
Socialism, 48, 201, 207. 328, 329, 330, 

Societies. Secret, Condemned by Second 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, 25 ; 
Cited as an Evil in Preliminary Con- 
Bidorations Before Vatican Council, 48 ; 
Action of Third Plenary Council of Bal- 
timore on, 113, 114, 122 to 124; Re- 
ferred to in Cardinal Gibbons' Letter 
on th« Knights of Labor. 159 

Society of Jesus, 83, 85, 128 

Society for the Propagation ol the Faith, 

Sons of Temperance, 25 
Sousa, John Philip, 136 
Southampton, L. I„ 343 
Spain, 98, 186, 280 to 289, 317 
Spalding, Archbishop, of Baltimore, Fu- 
ture Cardinal Appointed as His Secre- 
tary, 22 ; Installs Him as Vicar of 
North Carolina, 31, 33; Attends Vati- 
can Council, 49, 58 ; Relations with 
Bishop Bayley, 63 ; Death of, 64 ; Addi- 
tions to Baltimore Cathedral, 72 ; Car- 
dinal's Tribute to, 82 
Spalding. Bishop, of Peoria, 79, 104, 1«9, 

110, 202 
Spanish-American War, 145, 278 to 289 . 
Spiritism, 24 
Starr, Mgr. Wm. E., 84 
State, Relations with the Church. 140 to 

States of the Church, 213 
Stevenson, Adlai E., 302 
Stillwater, Minn, 222 to 226 
Stone, Rev. John T., 349 
Stranlero, Mgr., 127, 128, 129, 131, 133 
Strossmayer, Bishop, 59 
St. Ann's Church, Edenton, N. C, 41 
St. Bartholomew, Massacre of, 71 
St. Bridget's Church, Baltimore, 13. 14, 

19, 20, 22, 31, 78 
St. Charles College, 9, 29, 128, 136, 359 
St. James' Cathedral, Montreal, 369 
St. James' Church, Baltimore, 3 
St. James' Church, Concord, N. C, 42, 43 
St. John's Cathedral, Milwaukee, 244 
St. John's Church, Baltimore, 3, 31 
St. John's Church, Raleigh, N. C, 41 
St. Joseph's Cathedral School, Baltimore, 

St. Joseph's Church, Baltimore, 20 
St. Joseph's Church, New Orleans, 7 
St. Joseph's Monastery, Baltimore, 31 
St. Lawrence's Church, Baltimore, 15 
St. Louis, Mo., 309, 310, 311 
St. Mary's Church, Baltimore, 3 
St. Mary's City, Md„ 65, 85, 127, 271, 

342, 382 
St. Mary's Orphan Asylum Baltimore, 137 
St. Marv's Seminary, Baltimore, Scene of 
Cardinal Gibbons' Preparation for 
Priesthood, 9, 10, 11 ; Its Students in 
Ecclesiastical Processions, 29. 79, 128 
Cardinal's Tributes to, 83. 134; Pre 
lates Entertained There. 135, 191, 334 
Centennial of Seminary, 245 : Visited 
by Admiral Cervera. 286 : Cardinal in 
Religious Retreats There, 292 ; Address 
Presented to Cardinal, 299 ; Very Rev. 
A. L. Magnien's Work There. 356. 



St. Matthew's Church, Washington, 4 

St. Michael's Church, Baltimore, 244 

St. Patrick's Cathedral, N. Y., 125, 367, 
368, 369 

St. Patrick's Church, Baltimore, 3, 13 

St. Patrick's Church, Washington, 86 

St. Patrick's Day, 140 

St. Paul Street, Baltimore, 28 

St. Peter, 58 

St. Peter's Cathedral Richmond, 75 

St. Peter's Church, Baltimore, 3, 72 

St. Thomas Aquinas, 216, 259 

St. Thomas' Church, Wiimhigton, N. C, 
31, 33, 35, 87 

St. Sulpice, Seminary of, in Paris, 63, 

St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of, 256 

St. Vincent's Abbey, Pa., 44 

Sulpician Fathers, 10, 11, S3, 108 

Sunday, Observance of, 267, 268 

Supreme Court, U S„ 232 

Swarbrick, Mrs. George, Sister of Cardi- 
nal Gibbonc, 90 

"Sweatshop Evil," 311 

Swift Creek, N. C, 40 

Swift, Isaac, 41 

Switzerland, 321, 325 

Synod, Diocesan, 111 

Taft, President, Visit to Rome, When 
Secretary of War, to Discuss Friar 
Land Question, 288 ; Cardinal Gibbons' 
Correspondence with, 354 ; at Dedica- 
tion of Peace Palace of American Re- 
publics, 363 : Speech at Civic Celebra- 
tion in CardTnal's Honor, 384, 385 

Talleyrand, Prince, 58 

Taney, Roger B., 2 

Tarboro, N. C, 41 

Tariff, President Cleveland's Message on, 

Taschereau, Cardinal, 141, 150, 193, 196, 

Taunton, Mass., 273 
Te Deum, 88 

Temperance Question, 208, 209, 210 
Temporal Power of the Roman Pontiffs, 

48. 70 
Thanksgiving Day, 89, 90, 187 
Theology, 11, 12 
Thomas, Rev. C. P., 251 
Thomistic Philosophy, 216 
Tighe, Thomas, 6 
Timanus, E. Clay, 334 
Titus, 351, 363 
Transcendentalism, 24 

Trent, Council of. Regulations for Thor- 
ough Training of Priests, 10, 108 ; In- 
terval Between It and Vatican Council, 
46, 47, 48 ; English-Speaking I'relates 
Who Sat in It, 60 ; Sug„vstions Re- 
garding Selection of Cardinals, 130 ; 
Form for Marriage Ceremony Pre- 
scribed by, 277 

Tribunal, Episcopal, 114 

Triduum, 313 

Trinity, Doctrine of, 70 

Tuberculosis, Cardinal Gibbons' Interest 
in Fight Against, 367 

Unction, Extreme, 70 
Unitarianism, 24 
Unity, Christian, 272, 273, 274 
Universalism, 24 

University, Catholic, of America (See 
Catholic University) 

Vancouver, Fort, 181 

Vannutelli, Cardinal Vincent. 368, 369 

Vatican Council. Its Origin and Sessions, 
Bisliop Gibbons' Experiences There, 
46 to 61 ; Value of His Observations 
There, 103 ; Decrees Regarding Train- 
tog of Priests, 108 

Vaughan, Cardinal, 279, 280, 291, 300, 

Venezuelan Boundary Dispute, 278 

Venice, 318, 325 

Vestries, of Virginia, 64 

Veto, of the Election of a Pope, 317 

Via delle Quattro Fontane, Rome, 289 

Vicariate Apostolic, of North Carolina, 
Father Gibbons Selected for, 23, 24 ; 
His Labors and Experiences in, 29 to 
45, 397 ; Administrator of, 63 ; Lack of 
Immigration to, 65 ; Bishop Gibbons' 
Work in, .\fter His Elevation to the 
See of Richmond, 73 to 75 ; Work of 
Bishop Keane and Father Gross There, 
86, 87 

Victor Emmanuel, 57, 213 

Villaneuve, Abbe, 238 

Violence, by Labor Organizations, 155 

Virginia, Army of, 17 ; Bishop Gibbons' 
Work as Head of Diocese of Richmond, 
62 to 77 ; Opinions Concerning Religion 
to, 198 

Virginia Military Institute, 67 

Virginia, Sister, of the Little Sisters of 
the Poor, 69 

Vlterbo, 315 

Virtue, Bishop, 193 

\ izcaya, Spanish Cruiser, 286 

Volpi Landi, Marchcse, 238 

Von Ketteler, Bishop, 59 

Von Moitke, Count, 57 



Waggaman, Thomas E., 354 

Wagner, Henry C, 2 

Wallis, Severn Teackle, 17 

Walsh, James, 5 

Walworth, Rev. Clarence, 7 

Warfield, Edwin, 334 

War of 1812. 199 

Warrenton, Va., 68 

Washington and Lee University, 67 

Washington, D. C, Civil War Disturb- 
ances t elt in Maryland, 20 ; James G. 
Blaine Comes from to Attend the Fu- 
neral of His Sister in the Baltimore 
Cathedral, 91 ; Erection of the Cathol- 
lic University There, 110 ; Dedication 
of School of Sacred Sciences of Uni- 
versity, 191, 202 to 206; Cardinal at 
Presentation of Sword to Admiral Dew- 
ey There, 308 : at Dedication of Peace 
Palace There, 363 

Washington, George, Bishop Gibbons' La- 
bors In Virginia Among Scenes with 
Which He was Identified, 68 ; Catholic 
Gain from American Revolution, 85, 
86 ; Lessons from His Life Quoted by 
Cardinal Gibbons. 189 ; Visited George- 
town College, 194 ; Cardinal's Tribute 
to, 266 ; Friendship with Bishop Car- 
roll, 271 ; Difficulties In Constitutional 
Convention of 1787 Compared to Those 
in a Plenary Council of the Catholic 
Church, 398 

Washington, N. C, 40 

Weser, River, 237 

Westminster Cathedral, London, 325, 326 

Westminster, Md., 341, 343 

Westport, Ireland, 4, 5 

Wheeling, Bishop of, 140 

Wheeling, Diocese of, 191 

Whelan, Bishop, 29, 65 

Whelan, Rev. John T., 191, 208 

White, Edward D., Chief Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court, 181, 382 

White House, Washington, 182 

White, Rev. Charles I, 4 

Whitfield, Archbishop, 3, 27, 82, 133 

Whyte, Wm. Pinkney, 2 

Wilhelm II, German Emperor, 237 

William in, 342 

Williams, Archbishop, Present at Con- 
ferring of Pallium on Archbishop Gib- 
bons, 80 ; Mentioned as Possible Car- 
dinal, 126 ; Celebrant of Mass at Con- 
ferring of Red Biretta on Cardinal Gib- 
bons, 129 ; Cardinal Attends His Gol- 
den Jubilee, 274 ; Confers with Him 
Before Going to Rome In 1901, 289 

Williams, Henry, 292 

Williamson, Miss Olympia, 67 

Wilmington, Del., See of, 29 

Wilmington, N. C, 31, 37, 42, 44, 69, 74 

Wilson, N. C, 41 

Wilson Tariff Bill. 249 

Wlmmer, Arch Abot, 44 

Wlnans, Ross, 17 

Winchester, Va., 68 

Wirt, Wm., 2 

Wolf, Rev. Herman, 44 

Woman Suffrage, 308, 309 

Women's Educational Union, of Chicago, 

Wood, Archbishop, 78, 79 

Woodford, Stewart L.. 284 

World's Fair, at Chicago, 214, 215, 264 
to 272 

Xerxes, 105 

Yorktown. Siege of, Returning Troops En- 
camp on Site of Baltimore Cathedral, 

Zeitung, Frankfurter, 248, 249 
Zuchetta, 127, 128 


Los Angeles 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

L 006 849 029 1 


AA 001 269 393 3